I'm sure most people heard about the famous "fight of the century," a top-level boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Although, it was an acclaimed fight and billed as the "battle for greatness," the fight was more like a cat and mouse game. Pacquiao, who was the aggressive one, pressed Mayweather throughout the fight, nevertheless, Floyd Mayweather's "great run" to escape those attacks has already taken its place in the dictionary, running like Mayweather.
However, whenever I look at the Spor Toto Süper Lig and its champions-elect Galatasaray, I see many similarities with "the fight of the century." Both were acclaimed and overly advertised by the media, nonetheless, both of them were terrible in terms of quality. Added to that, the winners on both occasions were equally terrible and it seems that most people were not satisfied with the result. But it looks like the biggest winners still get the biggest share of the prize, the prize that was paid to the fans for almost nothing. Given these facts, it is better to check Galatasaray's record and see what they have done to become champions.
First of all, we saw a club in economic crisis and left alone by its president. The club's spending was so much that they could not even find the money to pay their players, which led to a shameful FIFA case between Galatasaray and Izet Hayrovic. Added to that, a relatively successful manager, Roberto Mancini, also left the club because of insufficient funds. Despite the crisis, a promising coach, Cesare Prandelli, became the new manager, but I believe he raised the standards of Galatasaray too high and made a lot of enemies at the club. Finally, after a lot of humiliating results, Hamza Hamzaoğlu and more importantly Abdurrahim Albayrak took charge in order to save the day, and it seems that they managed to do it.
However, in this chaotic atmosphere, no one questioned what was being done to save the day or the roots of Galatasaray's poor play. The whole club focused on saving the day and with the great help of Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe, they found a trophy that they could not have dreamed about two months ago. Nevertheless, after they clinched consecutive wins and their rivals, absurdly but not surprisingly, lost points, Galatasaray started its great Mayweather run.
Of course, not conceding a single goal in six games is important, but not as important as it has been made out to be by the media. Galatasaray simply played a defensive game with six or seven players and hoped to facilitate its "talented" offensive players. Just look at the Beşiktaş game, after they scored a goal in the 11th minute, they did not even pretend to play with the ball for the rest of the game. Then a talented Wesley Sneijder scored a fantastic long-range goal, borne out of his own technical competence alone. Galatasaray were not the dominant or the eager team against Beşiktaş, actually they never wanted to play like that at any point of the season. Prandelli did, but you already know what happened to him.
In the final analysis, I congratulate Galatasaray and especially Hamza Hamzaoğlu. It is not easy to become the champions of this league, where almost everyone is a shrewd businessman. They were the last men standing, but that does not change the fact that the game was not worth anything at all. Now the question is, what will happen to Turkish football and Galatasaray from here? Does this success make all the financial and administrative failures tolerable? Can anyone dare question the validity of Turkish football? I don't think so. Mayweather was always going to win; he knows how to stay alive in these hunger games.
Since he did what he could, I will look at Fernando Muslera's performance separate from Galatasaray's game. Except his meaningless goal kicks into the opponent's half, which were derived from the team's overall strategy, he was more than sufficient, especially for Galatasaray's Mayweather run, which demanded a great goalkeeping display. Furthermore, his good form also affects the opposition forward players since they know Muslera is a tough nut to crack. Thus, I believe he deserves the biggest share in this championship.
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