Which Turkish football club is the best
Crescent or federal eagle? German-Turks in conflict
Berlin - Many German talents with Turkish roots will at some point have to decide which country they want to appear for. Since the German Football Association no longer underestimated the potential of the Turks playing in Germany, the fight for the best talent has become tougher.
It was not because of the integration problem that Nuri Sahin plays in the red jersey with a crescent moon and a star - and not in the white with the federal eagle.
"Our third generation of Turks is very well integrated. And maybe the fourth generation could become a Federal Chancellor," says the 22-year-old: "The German national team does it, plays with a multicultural team, and when all of Germany cheers the Turk Mesut Özil scores a goal. "
Sahin and Özil go their separate ways
But Sahin is neither Federal Chancellor nor German national player. The midfield star of Borussia Dortmund chose a different path than his friend Özil when, like so many young football talents with Turkish roots, he was faced with the decision: Germany or Turkey?
Both countries will meet on Friday in the European Championship qualifier in Berlin (from 8:30 p.m. in the live ticker) - and two hearts will beat in Sahin's chest. "I'm Turkish, but also a bit German. It's a very special game for me," says Sahin, who was born in Lüdenscheid.
National coach Joachim Löw regrets Sahin's decision. "He chose Turkey, I accept that, even if he is an excellent player," said Löw on the sidelines of the award of the Federal Cross of Merit in Berlin.
Sammer fights for German-Turkish talent
Many of his colleagues also have to live with this dichotomy. The battle for the best talent has become tougher since the DFB no longer underestimates the potential of the 200,000 or so Turks playing in Germany.
"We're fighting for them," said DFB sports director Matthias Sammer to the specialist magazine "kicker": "It is our fundamental aim to also integrate players with a migration background into our talent development program."
Without this change of opinion, players like Özil or central defender Serdar Tasci would probably have chosen their parents' country. "I feel in good hands at the DFB. They went to great lengths to look after me," said Özil, who has become an indispensable part of the national team.
More hope in the starting blocks
The three U-21 national players Taner Yalcin, Mehmet Ekici and Ilkay Gündogan are hoping for a similar career. They may wear the German jersey, but only after they have played an international match are they no longer allowed to change sides.
Ekici from Nuremberg admits that not only the heart plays a role in his decision: "The perspective has to be right."
"German" Altintop brothers as pioneers for Turkish talent scouting
The Turks trained abroad, such as the Altintop twins Hamit and Halil, are held in high regard by the new national coach, Guus Hiddink. "The boys have learned to bite through and are better prepared for the demands that are placed on them in the big clubs," says the Dutch starter coach, who is supposed to bring the 2002 World Cup third party back to the top of the world.
Therefore, the Turkish association is intensifying its talent scouting. And not just in Germany. A total of around 25 scouts work across Europe, the annual budget for the sighting is around half a million euros.
Nuri Sahin: "You have to feel good"
Germany scout Erdal Keser denies that the players are being put under pressure by the talent scouts when making their decision: "There must and shouldn't be any pressure, regardless of the side."
There are currently 24 players from Germany in the national teams of Turkey, on the other hand, the DFB has 18 footballers of Turkish origin in its selection teams. Sahin advises from personal experience: "The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your decision."
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