Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray bade farewell to their beloved Ali Sami Yen stadium on Tuesday with a 3-1 cup win over second division side Beypazarı Sekerspor, thus bringing to an end 46 years of football at one of the most intimidating arenas in Europe.
The Ali Sami Yen Stadium was officially opened with a friendly match between Turkey and Bulgaria on December 20, 1964 and Galatasaray achieved a number of great successes in the stadium during its term of use.
They beat Eskisehirspor 2-1 in 1987 to end a 14-year title wait in front of a 35,845 crowd, which stands as the club's stadium record. Although in the modern era the Ali Sami Yen had a capacity of only 22,800, the passionate fans made it one of the most atmospheric stadiums in the world.
"Nobody can make me believe that there are only 25,000 people in this stadium," said former Milan captain Paola Maldini once after a match with the Rossoneri at the Ali Sami Yen.
Galatasaray will now move to their new 52,650-seater TT Arena, which will be opened with a friendly match against Ajax on Saturday.