The tale of two national teams

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 08.09.2017 23:24

Unfortunately for the Turkish national football team and fortunately for the Turkish national basketball team, the international break in football started at the same time as Eurobasket 2017 in Turkey. It was a complete national team week for Turkish people, and it was a brilliant opportunity to compare how well these two teams prepared themselves. While the football team collapsed against Ukraine, the basketball team put up a great effort against strong Russian, Serbian and Latvian sides with a weak but young squad. Thus, although the quality of the football team was clearly better than the basketball team, the result made Turkey think about the philosophy of team games.

Firstly, the basketball team has definitely lost its renowned title, the 12 giant men, due to the lack of centers and players in the NBA. Rather, they are a group of young, talented but clearly inexperienced players who execute great teamwork. Coach Ufuk Sarıca saw the limited capacity of his team, and as if knowing Jurgen Klopp's warning about limited teams and how dangerous it is for self-esteem to expect talent from a limited team, he simply made his team physically powerful, defensively strict and mentally dedicated. The result was astonishing, the Turkish national team that no one gave a chance to before the tournament came close to defeating Russia, Serbia and Latvia, and guaranteed qualification for the next round before the last game.

On the other hand, despite the fact that the Turkish national football team managed to beat Croatia with a lot of luck, the country does not feel the same way as they do about the basketball team. The team is in utter chaos, coach Lucescu changed seven players from the Ukraine game squad and the player whom Lucescu did not call to the national team in the first place, Oğuzhan Özyakup, became the key player in Turkey's victory against Croatia. Added to that, strangely, just like what happened to Turkey against Ukraine, the referee in the game made some serious mistakes in favor of Turkey against Croatia, but this time no one was interested in the refereeing on the Turkish side. The day was saved and the mission was accomplished, thus no one cared about the fact that Croatia played a game just 48 hours before, and then travelled to Turkey and still managed to dominate the game, only to be beaten by a goal that came from the only opportunity Turkey found throughout the game.

Therefore, it is obvious that the Turkish basketball team, despite all of their set-backs and problems, deserve praise and the football team still have no idea about how they are going to beat Iceland to qualify for the World Cup. The tale that we should support is the basketball team's one, and despite the fact that the Turkish football team is back in the game after their win, they are strategically still out of the game in the long run. Leave your emotions and short-term worries aside and stand on the right side of the history, before it is too late for Turkish football.

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