Simon Kuper in Turkey

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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.)

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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