RACHEL – Turkey’s youth players inspired by stars like Brazil’s Luiz

Turkey’s youth players inspired by stars like Brazil’s LuizTurkey may not be participating in the World Cup proper in Brazil this year, but its youth teams are hard at work training to stay fit on the international stage and looking to stars at home and abroad for inspiration in the meantime.The point is best exemplified by a recent interview with young defender Burak BekaroIlu, who represented Turkey’s national team in the U-17 European Championship this May.

Burak has idols both local and international. He told the football magazine TamSaha that Brazil’s famously relaxed defender David Luiz was someone he looked to as a role model.

“In Turkey I really like Galatasaray’s Semih Kaya and take him as an example,” he told TamSaha’s AydIn Guvenir “On a global scale my favorite defender is Brazil’s David Luiz. I like to try to bring the ball forward from defensive positions.

David Luiz is that kind of player And he plays very cool headed,” he added, likening Luiz to how he sees himself.Abroad or bustBurak expressed his drive to work hard and move up the ranks to bigger teams in Turkey, and if possible, he would like to sign on with an English Premier League outfit later down the line.

He looks to Luiz in this regard, as the central defender played for Chelsea from 2011 until this year The vice-captain of the Brazil World Cup team will move to Paris Saint-Germain for the coming season.Young Burak dreams of ending up in Europe just like his role model.

“In the long term I would like to be signed by BeIiktaI, Fenerbahe or Galatasaray. If I ever get the chance to play abroad, it is my dream to play in England,” the defender said.

“The football and the atmosphere in the stadium are the best. If one day I get to play in that league, I will be exceptionally happy.

”The Sakarya-born native started out, much like his Brazilian idol, playing on the streets. Ten years younger than Luiz, Burak is just at the very beginning of his career He signed his first professional contract in September of last year with small-time local club Sakaryaspor, which plies its trade in the TFF Third League.

“Sakaryaspor is going through tough times. We avoided relegation to the amateur league in the last week of last season,” he recalled.

But he insists that Sakaryaspor is not completely lost. “Up until now, my club has raised several players that are known in Turkish football history.

For this reason, I want to help this club get through these hard times as a player,” he added proudly.National stageTurkey did not make it out of the group stage of the U-17 European Championship this year, but it has done well in the past.

The youth team won the title in 2005 with stars like Nuri Iahin and has participated in five editions of the competition to date.Unfortunately, Turkey does not fare as well at senior-level competition.

The national team has only participated in two World Cup finals — but managed third place in 2002. In three UEFA European Championship campaigns, Turkey has aanced as far as the semifinals.

If young Turks such as Burak BekaroIlu work hard to follow their idols and fulfill their dreams of playing abroad, it will benefit the country and its national team Turkey and its footballers can only benefit from more experience abroad. But they will need well-organized youth programs and the full support of clubs with international standards in order to make a big impact.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman