|Full name||Ali Rıza Sergen Yalçın|
|Date of birth||October 5, 1972|
|Place of birth||Istanbul, Turkey|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Attacking midfielder|
|1999–2002||Siirt Jet-Pa Spor||0||(0)|
|1999–2000||→ Fenerbahçe (loan)||24||(8)|
|2000||→ Galatasaray (loan)||21||(6)|
|2000–2001||→ Trabzonspor (loan)||21||(1)|
|2001–2002||→ Galatasaray (loan)||18||(7)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
From the Beşiktaş Youth Infrastructure he entered at the age of 10, he rose to the A team and played for the club for 45 years. He said that Serpil Hamdi Tüzün, who watched Sergen for 15 seconds and brought him to Beşiktaş, drew 10 goal positions every day in line with his directive and applied them. He left the club in 1997 and returned to Beşiktaş in 2002. Wearing the uniform of the four largest in Turkey is the first of the two players. Beşiktaş's top goal scorer of the squad which, became the champion in its 100th year was. In the match played between Beşiktaş and Galatasaray in the 33rd week of the season, he scored the goal that brought the 100th year championship, and he realized the classic saying of Ercan Taner: Sergen scored, championship came. He was selected as one of the best footballers of 100 years in 2003 as a result of the votes cast by the directors, media representatives and fans who were members of the Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors at Beşiktaş JK. He came to Besiktas in 2002 and left in 2006. He is the coach of Beşiktaş JK.
Sergen began at Beşiktaş JK in 1991, and quickly became renowned for his skill and creativity. His first spell at the club saw him score 46 goals in 158 games – no mean feat for a midfielder. However, it was known that Sergen lacked professionalism. After a 4–1 defeat to Samsunspor, he was publicly criticised by the Beşiktaş deputy president due to his careless lifestyle. Sergen responded to the club official by insulting him.
|“||If he doesn't leave the board, from tomorrow I will not turn out for training or for matches. Let him wear the No 10 shirt and play in the Beşiktaş midfield.||”|
Subsequently, Beşiktaş imposed a club-record fine of over £150,000. He was later forgiven after apologising but the fine stayed. Sergen then demanded a new and improved contract which was denied by the board.
As expected, Sergen departed from the club and became Turkey's record signing when he moved to İstanbulspor for £5.5m in 1997. Thereafter, Sergen now desired a move to the European fields and began contract negotiations with Internazionale and AC Milan. Terms could not be met with the Italian giants. After struggling with his weight due to months of inaction, İstanbulspor failed to offload him, so Jet-Pa (a sports company) bought his contract and arranged a loan deal with Fenerbahçe, which involved him wearing a personalised shirt promoting the company.
Under the coaching firstly from Joachim Löw and Rıdvan Dilmen, he seemed to have buckled down to the task. But when Zdenek Zeman took over, Sergen was consistently engaged in trench warfare. Sergen publicly criticised Zeman for trying to play him on the wing, which he believed was not his best position, and was accused of faking injury to avoid training sessions. Along with many other incidents, the final straw came with the home game against Bursaspor. When he eventually came on as a substitute, Sergen missed a simple scoring chance, which many of the fans believe to have been a deliberate miss as an act of protest or just pure spite. In the late stages of the game, with the score locked at 2–2, he further infuriated the supporters by strolling across to take a corner as though he had all the time in the world. Midway through the 1999–2000 season, Sergen had his contract terminated by Fenerbahçe. Due to his terrific individual showings for the national team, Sergen attracted attention from several foreign clubs. There were speculations about a move to FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.
Despite heavy speculation, he finished the season at arch-rivals Galatasaray SK and displayed impressive showings to help Galatasaray do the domestic double. Sergen signed for the club too late in the season to be eligible for the UEFA Cup campaign, and as Galatasaray made the trip to Leeds for the second tie of the semi-final, Sergen was instructed to report to training in Istanbul. But instead of continuing his training in Istanbul, he took a little trip of his own to Northern Cyprus. While casinos were banned on the Turkish mainland, they remained open in Northern Cyprus which attracted quite a lot of gambling trade from Turkey. It attracted Sergen for precisely that reason and he spent much of his brief stay there in a casino. When he returned to Istanbul, he told manager Fatih Terim he was tired from the journey and asked if he could skip a training session. Terim is a fearsome disciplinarian and the reaction was predictably explosive. Sergen skipped title celebrations after the Galatasaray board made it clear they would not have him back next season.
After Euro 2000, Sergen was on the verge of a transfer to Newcastle United, manager Bobby Robson being a long-time admirer. The deal fell through and he instead moved to Trabzonspor and became the first player to have represented the big four clubs in Turkey. Sergen had never yet played for a club outside Istanbul and it was believed that removing him from the distractions of the big city would do good for his appalling disciplinary record. Ironically, it was the most unsuccessful season of his career. At the season's end, Trabzonspor did not wish to extend his loan deal.
Fatih Terim gave up on him at Galatasaray. Zdenek Zeman could not work with him at Fenerbahçe. He publicly criticised former national coach Mustafa Denizli after Euro 2000. British coach Gordon Milne worked with him at Beşiktaş and he too despaired of trying to get Sergen – and his magical left foot to the training ground on time. It was thought to be the end of Sergen Yalcin, the great enfant terrible of Turkish football.
—French Football Magazine, 1994
|“||This is his last chance and he is well aware of this. I wanted Sergen and I know he will truly show me who Sergen Yalçın is. His talent is obvious and now he will finally be seen on the international stage. He will be born again.||”|
The move was rewarded as Sergen repaid his manager's faith by starring in the UEFA Champions League with 2 goals and 2 assists as Galatasaray progressed to the second group stage. Unfortunately, Sergen tore his knee ligaments and would miss the rest of the season. He was told to lose weight or never play football again. After elimination from the UEFA Champions League, Lucescu remained insistent that if Sergen had remained fit, Galatasaray would have gone on to win the tournament. Galatasaray did still go on to win the league title.
In the 2002–2003 season, after years of wandering, Sergen returned home to Beşiktaş. Sergen was signed on a permanent deal by Lucescu, who had also moved to Beşiktaş. Under the tutelage of Lucescu, some whispered that, perhaps, the talent had been tamed. Sergen was finally maturing to fulfill some of his long-lost potential. Beşiktaş won the league, with Sergen the key instigator. The 2003–2004 season would see Beşiktaş' re-entry to the Champions League where Sergen was to feature in arguably the most memorable match of his career. Roman Abramovich became the owner of the English club, Chelsea FC, spending £112m on quality transfers. Chelsea's 'invincibles' were undefeated under the Abramovich-era ahead of the match with Beşiktaş, which was played at Stamford Bridge. With the odds stacked against them, Beşiktaş shocked the footballing world by winning 0–2, both goals courtesy of Sergen. Beşiktaş were eliminated in the group stage, but Sergen once again proved his class by scoring 2 goals and providing 3 assists in the six matches. He continued playing in Beşiktaş for another two years, becoming a fan-favourite of the club.
Before the 2006–2007 season, manager Jean Tigana did not see Sergen as part of his future plans and therefore, Beşiktaş terminated his contract with immediate effect. This enraged the fans, as Sergen was their greatest symbolic icon. Upon his departure, he stated that he would always be a Beşiktaş fan. He spent that season at lowly Etimesgut Şekerspor in the TFF Second League, before moving to Eskişehirspor of the TFF First League, retiring at the end of 2007–08 as his team achieved promotion to the top flight.
When Sergen was asked why he never moved to Europe, he simply replied, "If I was 20 again, I would leave Turkey within 3 days."
Sergen made his debut in a friendly game against F.Y.R. Macedonia in 1994. He would represent his nation in Euro 1996 and 2000, but injury prevented him from featuring at the FIFA World Cup in 2002. For the Turkish national team, Sergen scored 5 goals in 37 matches.
- Euro 1996
Euro 1996 was Turkey's first tournament appearance since 1954. Sergen played a key role in qualification, scoring two goals. Sergen featured in two matches at the finals where they fell at the first hurdle, pointless and goalless. After the tournament, Sergen received several offers from the European shores, including the likes of West Ham United. Sergen's refusal to move was made by the fact the clubs in pursuit were not bigger than Beşiktaş.
- FIFA World Cup 1998
Sergen was fairly inactive in the national team during this period. In the opening round of World Cup qualification, Sergen came on as a second-half substitute against Belgium. Sergen went from hero to villain in the space of five minutes by contriving to get himself sent off after initially scoring a splendid half-volley on the edge of the box. Turkey went on to lose the match 2–1 at Brussels. Manager Mustafa Denizli saw Sergen as a liability and did not select him for the next 13 months. Sergen's only other match during qualification was the 5–0 victory at San Marino, and Sergen was hugely disappointing. Turkey failed to make the finals.
- Euro 2000
—These Football Times newspaper James Kelly, 2017
To his detractors, Sergen was a luxury item in a team which could ill afford luxuries. Those who had a fondness for decrying Sergen's abilities have suggested that, when playing at the highest level, he glitters rather than shines. So when Sergen was given a second chance, many lashed out at Denizli's decision to select him. Having finally accepted that he was the linchpin of his national side, Sergen dedicated himself to banish bitter memories of his past.
The opening match saw Sergen give a man of the match performance in a 3–0 victory over Northern Ireland, followed by a 1–0 victory against European champions Germany, but then shamefully defeated 1–3 to Finland. The next match against Moldova, Sergen was the maestro for the Turkish side, with his spectacular dribbling runs, shots at goal and his clairvoyant passes creating scoring chances for his teammates. It was from his corner kick that Turkey opened the scoring, and four minutes into injury time when Sergen took the stage, displacing the lead-footed Moldovan defenders one by one before slotting in a cracker from the edge of the area to give Turkey a 2–0 victory. Sergen also made history because his goal was the 400th scored in the history of the Turkish national team. Prior to the next match, Turkey had never defeated Finland in any official match since 1924. Outpaced and outplayed for 15 minutes, Turkey trailed 2–0 before Sergen intervened. The man of the match was involved in three goals as Turkey turned around a two-goal deficit to defeat Finland 2–4. Turkey gained five points from their final three matches to finish group runners-up. The final game with Germany ended 0–0, but is seen as one of the greatest individual displays in the history of the Turkish national team, as Sergen "pulled all the strings", according to the German manager Erich Ribbeck. As group runners-up, Turkey faced the Republic of Ireland in a play-off tie to qualify for Euro 2000. The Irish entered the match as favorites mainly due to their influential skipper, Roy Keane. In the first leg, Ireland could only do with a 1–1 draw in Dublin. Eamonn Sweeney of the Irish Examiner wrote the match report.
|“||Sergen Yalcin may play Fenerbahçe, but his midfield display was an unscheduled replacement for the top of the bill showing we’d been expecting from the Manchester United man. At times, Keane looked like someone who arrived at the podium to pick up an MTV award only to see someone else making off with it. Yalcin, without ever moving faster than a jogger, was always one step ahead, showing the ball to Keane like a matador brandishing a cape and then whisking it away as his dangerous foe arrived. The Turkish midfielder's technical brilliance, was merely one of the intriguing factors about his team's oddly diverse performance. Paradoxically, you could see how they defeated Germany, but also how Finland had upset them at home.||”|
The second leg ended 0–0, which was enough for Turkey to qualify through the away-goals rule. In the first 20 minutes of the second half alone, Sergen set up four clear scoring chances as he produced another man of the match performance.
Turkey opened their Euro 2000 campaign with a controversial 2–1 defeat to Italy. The Guardian writer Ian Ross recalled the game.
|“||The bizarre interpretation of the shoulder-charge ruling by the Scottish referee Hugh Dallas may have presented Italy with the penalty that pushed Turkey to defeat in their opening Group B fixture, but Sergen's contribution was immense, an intoxicating cocktail of neatly threaded through-balls and passes so visionary they might have been delivered by Mystic Meg.||”|
It was his assist from a nicely flighted free-kick from which Turkey scored. Surprisingly, Sergen then came on as a substitute in their 0–0 draw with Sweden, and he didn't feature at all during the 2–0 victory over Belgium. In the quarter-finals, Sergen came on in the final few minutes as Turkey were defeated by Portugal. Sergen heavily criticised Denizli for not starting him in all of the matches, "He's got problems, he's not all there in the head. Don't ask me why I didn't play, ask him."
- FIFA World Cup 2002
Sergen missed most of 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification due to his dismal performances at club level. His transfer to Galatasaray and performances in the UEFA Champions League allowed him back into the team and he featured in the 5–0 thrashing of Austria to qualify for the World Cup. Tragically though Sergen had injured himself prior to the tournament and did not feature.
- Euro 2004
Sergen again wasn't involved in most of the Euro 2004 qualification campaign, but due to his memorable performance against Chelsea, he was selected for the crucial final qualifying match against England. It was his final match for Turkey, which ended 0–0. Due to injury, he did not feature in the play-off ties against Latvia as Turkey were defeated.
|2006–2007||Etimesgut Şekerspor (Lig B)||-||23|
|2007–2008||Eskişehirspor (1. Lig)||-||21|
|1.||12 October 1994||İstanbul, Turkey||Iceland||5–0||5–0||Euro 1996 Qualification|
|2.||29 March 1995||İstanbul, Turkey||Sweden||2–1||2–1||Euro 1996 Qualification|
|3.||7 June 1995||Montreal, Canada||Canada||1–0||3–0||Friendly|
|4.||31 August 1996||Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||1–2||1–2||FIFA World Cup 1998 Qualification|
|5.||27 March 1999||İstanbul, Turkey||Moldova||2–0||2–0||Euro 2000 Qualification|
- As of 15 March 2020
- UEFA Europa League Quarter final (1): 2002-03
- Süper Lig (3): 1992, 1995, 2003 Runner-up (2): 1993, 1997
- Turkish Cup (2): 1994, 2006 Runners-up (1): 1993
- Turkish Super Cup (2): 1992, 1994 Runners-up (1): 1995
- Prime Minister's Cup (1): 1997 Runners-up (1): 1996
- TSYD Cup (2): 1993, 1996
- Turkey U-21
- 1993 Mediterranean Games: U-21 Gold Medal
- Metcalf, Rupert (28 March 1997). "Football: around the world". London: The Independent. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Sergen karar bekliyor". Aksam Newspaper. 19 January 1999.
- "Contents". Turkish Press Review. 15 January 1999.
- "Fenerbahce loses its patience with Sergen". Hurriyet. 9 December 1999. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009.
- "Sergen Yalçın`dan şok açıklamalar". Milliyet. 21 September 2008. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011.
- Thomas, Russell (19 July 2000). "Sergen turns to the mouth of the Tyne". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Turkey's whild child grows up". London: The Guardian. 15 June 2000. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Lucescu: Sergen Hagi olacak". The Hurriyet. 28 July 2001.
- "20 yaşında olsam 3 gün durmazdım". ensonhaber. 16 May 2008.
- "Kazım'ı bilmem ama Arda'yı kurtarmak için hala şans var". Zaman. 29 October 2009. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011.
- "Lady Luck Ignores McCarthey". Irish Examiner. 15 November 1999.
- "Turkey's Wild Child Grows Up". The Guardian. London. 15 June 2000. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Denizli kafadan sakat". Sabah Newspaper. 25 June 2000.
- "G.Antepspor'da Sergen Yalçın dönemi!". Ntvspor. 16 November 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sergen Yalçın.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Sergen Yalçın|