Fenerbahce acclaimed as national heroes after Seville upset

Turkish fans celebrated late into the night on Tuesday after Fenerbahce beat Seville to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, and yesterday's morning newspapers heralded the victory as putting the club among the giants of European football.

"Fenerbahce, the new star of Europe," proclaimed Sabah newspaper above a photo of the club's players running to congratulate goalkeeper Volkan Demirel after he saved the last of three spot kicks in a penalty shoot-out.

Fenerbahce became only the second Turkish team to reach the quarter-finals of the competition after former Uefa Cup-winners Galatasaray, whose success in Europe has until now overshadowed that of their Istanbul rivals.

"We said we would become a global giant and we are slowly progressing towards this," Fenerbahce Chairman Aziz Yildirim said in Seville after watching his team's fightback in Tuesday's match.

Seville, who had lost the first leg 3-2, raced into a two-goal lead in the first nine minutes and added a third just before half-time. But Fenerbahce reined them in with two goals to force extra-time.

The recipe for Fenerbahce's success has a strong Brazilian flavour under the leadership of coach Zico. The club's two goals on Tuesday were scored by Deivid and another Brazilian, playmaker Alex, has played an influential role in the club's progress since he joined from Cruzeiro in 2004.

Mehmet Aurelio, who has joint Brazilian and Turkish citizenship and plays for the Turkish national team, is also a vital element in the team's midfield. Defender Roberto Carlos missed the Seville game because of injury.

Despite the fierce rivalry between Fenerbahce and the other major Istanbul clubs, Galatasaray and Besiktas, the victory was trumpeted as a triumph for the whole of Turkish football, which has drifted since the national side reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2002.

"This pride is not just Fenerbahce's pride because Fenerbahce was Turkey and it achieved this success in the name of Turkey," said the former national team coach, Mustafa Denizli.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore