Former Turkey and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Şahin announced the end of his career as a player at the age of 33, adding that he will now pursue a career as a coach.
"I will not return as a footballer," Şahin confirmed to the Spanish sports paper AS ahead of making his debut on Turkish club Antalyaspor's bench away to Sivasspor on Saturday.
Şahin was surprisingly named Antalyaspor's coach just over a week ago. Turkish media reported that he had been given a five-year contract to replace Ersun Yanal but was able to choose himself if he also wanted to continue playing.
Faport TAV Antalyaspor is currently 14th in the Turkish top-flight Süper Lig with just eight points from eight games. The club recently hired Dutch manager Alfons Groenendijk as the A Team's technical executive, Brazilian expert Marcelo Lins Martins as performance trainer as part Şahin's coaching team, in addition to previous signings of Dutch manager Michael Lindeman as assistant manager and Turkish trainer Murat Öztürk as goalkeeper trainer.
Şahin was at one point the youngest player and scorer in the Bundesliga when he broke into the Dortmund team as a 16-year-old. Despite winning the Bundesliga title and German Cup with Jurgen Klopp's side in 2011, Şahin arguably never fulfilled his apparently massive early potential.
He was a Real Madrid midfielder in the 2011-12 season, when "Los Galacticos" bagged the 2012 Spanish La Liga title. Şahin returned to Borussia Dortmund in 2014.
The gifted midfielder, who is also a Harvard graduate, also played for Feyenoord, Liverpool and Werder Bremen before moving to Antalyaspor and has more than 50 caps for Turkey.
Şahin was admitted to Harvard Business School for sports management in 2018, while playing for Dortmund. He combined football and education.
"I'm pleased to inform you that I've been admitted to Harvard Business! Super excited about the programme and delighted to meet legendary Anita Elberse #LifeAtHBS," Şahin tweeted on April 26, 2018. Famed professor Elberse is an "expert on the business of entertainment, media and sports" at Harvard. Şahin completed this program in the same year.
Known for his passing ability in the center of the park, Şahin joined Antalyaspor in 2020 and has a contract with this club as a player until June 2022.
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