Turkey’s sole contender in this year’s UEFA Champions League, the top European football club competition, is Besiktas.
The group stages just ended this week and Besiktas achieved something that no other Turkish football club has done in the competition so far. They completed their group stage matches undefeated with 14 points, after winning 4 and drawing 2 of their games. This represents the highest number of group stage points ever collected by a Turkish football club in the UEFA Champions League.
I congratulate Besiktas and the club’s fans on this excellent performance, and look forward to seeing what’s next in store. It could be quite surprising.
As the beginning of the summer nears, several major sports seasons are coming to an end. Last week, I wrote about how Turkish basketball club Fenerbahce won Europe’s top basketball club competition, the Euroleague. This week I’m writing to congratulate Besiktas on winning Turkey’s soccer championship.
My dad is a Besiktas supporter. Supporting a club is one of those things that often gets passed down from father to son. However, I chose to support one of Besiktas’s rivals, Galatasaray, as a child. While this created some tension during games between Besiktas and Galatasaray when I was younger, it has since turned into effectively having two chances of being happy at the end of the season. We’re both happy whether Besiktas or Galatasaray wins.
I was on a late evening walk when Besiktas won the game that gave it this year’s championship yesterday evening. I could immediately tell by the supporters who took to the streets by foot and car, chanting Besiktas slogans and waving the club’s flags. I was happy for them, as I was for my father.
Besiktas played the best soccer in Turkey this year, so it was a season when the best team won. Congratulations Besiktas.