'Football is like a religion in Turkey' - Toni Schumacher

The Germany legend has stated that his time with Fenerbahce was one of the highlights of his career, and believes it is a shame that the national team have not been more successful
Former Fenerbahce goalkeeper Toni Schumacher has stated that the atmosphere in Turkish stadia is unmatched in football.

The ex-West Germany international spent three years of his career with the the Istanbul club, and was very impressed with the sporting culture in the country.

"Football is like a religion there," the 58-year-old told Fifa.com.

"To experience a match in a Turkish stadium with these supporters is the ultimate for any football fan," he continued.

The 2013 Under-20 World Cup will be held in the country and the retired goalkeeping coach is convinced that the organisation has chosen the right place for the event.

"Knowing the Turkish people as I do, they'll be unbelievably proud to host this tournament,

"It's a wonderful opportunity for them to show what they can do. I'm sure they'll take this chance and do everything they can to make sure everyone has a great time.

"The stadiums are going to be packed and it's going to be something really special for all the young players involved."

He then reflected on the time of his career he had spent with the Kadikoy outfit, where he was able to win the league title in the 1988-89 season.

"Turkey will always remain one of the highlights of my career. The night we won the title, they completely closed off a six-lane road in front of my house – just to party! Can you imagine?"

Finally, he commented on Turkey's chances of gaining something in the tournament, acknowledging that their quality could lead them to success.

"It's a shame that Turkey haven't been at major tournaments more often, but everyone knows that technically they're very good," he explained.

"They've got some outstanding players and if they can mix it with tactical discipline, they're not to be underestimated."