Explained: Why Graeme Souness was waving a Galatasaray flag as the former Sky Sports pundit led their Turkish Super Lig title celebrations

Galatasaray Graeme SounessGetty/Twitter
  • Scot spent time coaching in Turkey
  • Infamous incident after cup final win
  • Back in Istanbul for 2023 title party

WHAT HAPPENED? The former Liverpool midfielder, who recently left his role as a pundit for Sky Sports, took in a brief spell as Gala boss in the 1995-96 campaign. He almost sparked a riot during that stint in Istanbul, becoming a cult hero in the process to a passionate fan base.

WHY WAS SOUNESS PART OF THE CELEBRATIONS? Souness accepted an invitation from Galatasaray to join their Super Lig title party on Sunday, with domestic dominance restored by Mauro Icardi and Co in 2022-23. Souness was presented with a giant flag when taking to the field, allowing him to relive the moment when he planted a similar banner into the centre circle of Fenerbahce’s pitch after overseeing a memorable Turkish Cup final triumph, with the same rivals overcome 3-0 in Gala’s latest outing on Sunday.

WHAT THEY SAID: Souness has previously said of his antagonistic display at the home of Galatasaray’s fiercest rivals: “One of their vice-presidents had said 'what are Galatasaray doing signing a cripple?', he was referring to the open-heart surgery I had. So we play them nine months later in the cup final, a two-legged cup final - we won the first game in our stadium 1-0, lose the second game 1-0 after 90 minutes. It goes to extra time, Dean Saunders - a really good player and great striker of the ball, before he's actually made contact with it I am up off my seat knowing he's going to score. We win the trophy and after the game, all of our players ran down to one end where our supporters were and that great big flag was handed over. All the players took turns to wave it and then it's my turn!”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Souness was given a raucous reception by Galatasaray supporters when returning to Turkish soil, with his place in club folklore safely secured.

WHAT'S NEXT: Nicolo Zaniolo bagged a brace, while Icardi also got in on the act, as Gala ended their 2022-23 campaign in style – with the club now readying themselves for another Champions League quest next season.