Simon Kuper in Turkey

Turkey already has shown a European orientation through its football, writer Simon Kuper said Nov 29 at the “100th Year Sports and Science Congress,” organized by Fenerbahçe. “The metaphor for Turkish football is clear: Exposure to Europe changes everything,” said Kuper, as quoted in the Turkish Daily News. Having left the age of a “selfish midget dribbler,” Turkey has been working toward a Western European mode: fast, hard-tackling, collectivist.

Now, as the continent’s third-most-populous nation, with millions living in Europe, Turkish football has begun realizing its potential and must continue to adapt, Kuper says in a separate interview, or “it will never win a World Cup.” For more on Kuper and his books, including Football against the Enemy, see our interview from 2005. (Thanks to linkmeister general du Nord for the original reference.)

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