The retired Turkey and Black Eagles star talked about his old team, the Aykut Kocaman-Alex crisis and Atletico Madrid midfielder Emre, for whom he reserved special praise
By Huseyin Atas
The former Real Sociedad attacker retired at the beginning of this year, but was willing to discuss some of the issues surrounding Turkish football currently.
He began by speaking on the crisis at the Yellow Canaries, where manager Aykut Kocaman and former captain Alex were at odds with each other recently, which eventually led to Alex’s contract being terminated.
"Alex has served Fenerbahce for years, he is an important player on and off the field. There is a time to go for every player. However, it is sad to see how this particular goodbye has been said. In any case, Alex will never be forgotten,” explained the striker.
"What must also not be forgotten is how valuable a trainer and personality Aykut Kocaman is, and that he is doing his very best for Fenerbahce," he concluded.
The 32-year-old is now involved with the management structure at Villarreal and is assistant manger for both the Under-16 and Under-18 sides, but he still keeps up to date with what is happening at former club Besiktas.
When asked about his old side's start to the campaign he said that due to their financial situation it will be difficult for them to do well, and that team spirit is essential.
"Whilst other teams were able to buy incredible players, Besiktas, due to their financial circumstances, could not follow suit," he said.
"At the moment the results are poor. There is no such rule that the same clubs will win the championship and cups every year," he added.
The former Turkey international also took time to respond to claims by Besiktas chairman Fikret Orman that he left the club for financial reasons.
“What he said was very upsetting for me. They sort of threw out to the supporters, projecting me as someone who only cares for money, and leaves the club at a difficult time,” he said.
“I am very upset. The supporters appear to have forgotten everything. In the fullness of time, I am confident that they will see things more clearly.”
He signalled that some day when the current commotion has calmed down that he could be open to a coaching role at the club. “Perhaps one day the doors will open again,” he said.
Meanwhile, fellow countrymen Belozoglu Emre and Arda Turan are both plying their trade in Spain, playing for Atletico Madrid.
Emre has already become a fan favourite since his move in the summer, and Nihat believes he could be invaluable to the Spanish outfit.
“In such a short time, supporters began to argue in his favour when he was not selected in the XI. In the end he has made a position his own. Emre is the best midfield player Turkey has ever produced,” he concluded.