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Alpay Fehmi Özalan (born 29 May 1973 in İzmirmarker) is a former Turkishmarker football player.

Alpay is currently a member of the management committee of Siirtspor.

Playing Style

Alpay is a tall, tough tackling defender, who is more often used as a man marker. He was a superb organiser, and very dominant in the air.

Club career

Turkey

Alpay began his career at Altay SK. His performances caught the eyes of the biggest teams in Turkey.

In 1993, Alpay signed for Turkish giants Beşiktaş JK. Alpay set a record in the Turkcell Süper Lig, earning three red cards in the space of six months. He played 148 matches for Besiktas, netting nine times. After six years at Beşiktaş JK, a new deal could not be negotiated. His contact was initially bought by Siirt Jetpaspor, and he was then loaned to Fenerbahce SKmarker. In his sole season at Fenerbahce SKmarker, he played 26 matches, and found the net three times.

Aston Villa FC

After superlative performances for his country at Euro 2000, Alpay signed for English club Aston Villa FC. Alpay enjoyed a good first season with Aston Villa FC, becoming a fan favourite of the club. His abilities caught the interest of Arsenal FC and Newcastle United FC. The arrival of Olof Mellberg saw Alpay and the Swedish international produce one of the most talented central-defensive partnerships in Europe. The partnership was cut short as Alpay injured his ankle which sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Alpay recovered just in time for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Alpay graced the World Cup finals with his strength, determination and exceptional tackling, forming the core of an obstinate Turkish defensive unit. Turkey finished third and Alpay was elected into Team of the Tournament.

The biggest clubs in Europe took note of his glorious performances in the Far East, including the likes of FC Barcelona and Internazionale. Aston Villa FC manager Graham Taylor refused to sell him, which was the beginning of Alpay's downfall at Villa Parkmarker. Media reports and comments made by Graham Taylor led to Alpay becoming a very unpopular figure at the club, missing much of the 2002–03 season. Legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel defended Alpay in his article in the English newspaper, The Times.
Alpay returned to the Aston Villa FC team for the beginning of the 2003–04 season. In his first home game against Charlton Athletic, he was booed when walking on to the pitch by his own fans. Alpay scored the first goal of that game. In consequence to his earlier booing, Alpay's goal celebration served to mock the Aston Villa FC fans by placing his finger on his mouth. He was again dropped due to the angry reaction of the Aston Villa FC fans. The Turkish defender was then made public enemy number one in Englandmarker in late 2003 after a run-in with David Beckham during the Euro 2004 qualifier in Istanbulmarker. He first confronted the England skipper after his first-half penalty miss, glowering over him and rubbing heads with the Real Madrid star in full view of the referee. He followed that up by prodding a finger into David Beckham's face as the players ran off the pitch at half-time, sparking a tunnel brawl. Due to the angry reactions in Englandmarker, Alpay's contract was terminated by Aston Villa FC.


Incheon United

SV Werder Bremen, Hamburger SV, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hertha Berlin, Bologna FC wanted to sign the fiery Turk. However, the European transfer window was closed and Alpay did not want to wait to play football again. He opted a move to K-League side Incheon United's first foray into professional football in 2004.

Urawa Red Diamonds

Alpay spent less than six months with the team before moving to the J. League with Urawa Red Diamonds. In his first season with the Urawa Red Diamonds, he was honoured with the best defender of the year award. The following season with the club proved to be a catastrophe. Alpay received three red cards in seven matches. The Japanese club annulled his contract due to these disciplinary problems.

1. FC Köln

In 2005, Alpay signed a one-year-contract with the German Bundesliga team 1. FC Köln. This transfer insured his place back into the national team. 1. FC Köln were relegated, and Manchester City FC, Portsmouth FC, Celtic FC, Galatasaray SK and Beşiktaş JK were interested in signing the forgotten talent. Alpay remained loyal to 1. FC Köln, stating that his decision was influenced by his family's happiness in Germany. After continuous controversies, Alpay was left out of the squad infinitely until his contract expired at the end of the 2007–08 season.

National Team

Alpay made 98 appearances for the Turkish national team, netting four times. Three of those goals was a hat-trick against Macedonia during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Alpay featured for Turkey in Euro 1996, Euro 2000, 2002 FIFA World Cup, and the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. His final match was against Switzerland in the 2006 FIFA World Cup second leg play-off tie in Istanbul, which resulted in Turkey's elimination despite a 4-2 victory. Alpay was involved in a brawl at the end of the game and was awarded a six match ban by FIFAmarker.

Honours









International goals

Results list Turkey's goal tally first.
Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
June 4, 1995 Torontomarker 1 goal 3-1 Friendly match
June 6, 2001 Bursamarker 3 goals 3-3 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification


References

External links




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