The 32-year-old says his age limited his ability on the pitch and admits that his return to Besiktas in 2009 was ill-judged, although states there were some beautiful moments
The injury-ridden 32-year-old announced his retirement from the sport on Tuesday, and now says his decision was prompted by age limiting his ability on the pitch.
"When you get old, you can't do anything you want on the pitch," the former Turkey international told NTV Spor.
Nihat ended his seven-year spell in Spain to return to Besiktas, his boyhood club, and readily admits going back to the Super Lig was a mistake.
"I must admit my return to Turkey was not a success and it hurt me as a man who was used to success. I was angry at myself, and there was some heavy criticism too.
"After I left Besiktas, I thought maybe I could play somewhere else, but I saw that I wanted to call it a day.
"Every good story has a beginning and an end. I have had some very beautiful moments. I had great joy when I was healthy and playing well."
Nihat represented his country in the 2002 World Cup, the 2003 Confederations Cup and Euro 2008, reaching the semi-final on each occasion.