Denizli returns to Lions as coach for third time

The 66-year-old pledged to start where he left off at Galatasaray, aka the Lions, and lead the defending champion to greater heights.

Denizli served as assistant to German coach Jupp Derwall for three years and was promoted to head in 1987-88 after Derwall left for health reasons. He led the Lions to league championship that same season and to the European Cup semi-final the following season (1988-89). It is worth noting the European Cup is the predecessor to the UEFA Champions League.

Denizli won the league title with Fenerbahce in 2000-01 and with Besiktas in 2008-09. And the interesting thing is that the Black Eagles have not lifted a league trophy ever since.

“It’s a great honor to be here. A difficult and challenging task is awaiting me now,” Denizli, the only coach to win the domestic league with three different clubs, said on Monday. “I am excited to be back with the only club for which I would risk my successes, my reputation.”

Details regarding the agreement, which Özbek said will be signed in a few days, were not revealed.

Denizli managed the Turkish national team for four years and reached the quarter-finals of the European championship in 2000.

Galatasaray is in third place in the standings after 12 games and seven points behind league leader Besiktas and third in the Champions League Group C on four points from as many matches.

Denizli said he will not travel to Madrid for the team’s away game against Atletico on Wednesday.


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