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Rüştü Reçber (born 10 May 1973 in Korkutelimarker, Antalyamarker) is a Turkishmarker football goalkeeper who currently plays for Besiktas J.K.

Rüştü is his country's record international cap-holder.

He has played a key role in the success of the Turkish national squad, and it was at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where Turkey finished third, that he earned a selection to the tournament's All Star team.

Rüştü was named the best goalkeeper in European competitions in 2002, selected for the 2002 UEFA Team Of The Year by public vote.

In 2004, he was selected to FIFA 100 by Pelé as one of the 125 best living footballers in the world. Rüştü retired from international level after UEFA Euro 2008 with 119 international caps to his name but was called to play against Spain on 28 March 2009 and 1 April.

Club career

Rise to Fame

Rüştü was first discovered by goalkeeper coach Ilie Datcu and was later introduced to Fatih Terim. Terim was impressed by Rüştü and told the goalkeeper he would someday become Turkey's greatest ever goalkeeper, even though he was the 3rd choice goalkeeper of his club. Terim recommended Rüştü to the big three clubs of Istanbulmarker: Galatasaray, Fenerbahçemarker, and Beşiktaş. In 1993, Rüştü signed a contract with Beşiktaş. However, shortly afterwards, he got into a car crash in which he was injured and, consequently, he failed to pass the medical. The transfer was canceled.


At the beginning of the 1993-94 season, he signed a contract with Fenerbahçemarker. Rüştü was loaned back to Antalyaspor for the season. During the 1994-95 season, the first choice goalkeeper Engin İpekoğlu of Fenerbahçe and the Turkish national team got injured and Rüştü was handed the opportunity to prove himself, rising to the occasion. For the next nine seasons, his spots both in Fenerbahçe and the national team were uncontested. Rüştü won four Süper Lig titles during his tenure at Fenerbahçe.


After spending nine seasons with Turkish giants Fenerbahçe, Rüştü was available on free transfer. Offers came from AC Milan, Barcelona, Internazionale, Valencia, Manchester United, Arsenal, Juventus, and Liverpool. Rüştü was very close to signing for Arsenal, but he had a dispute with manager Arsène Wenger and the transfer was cancelled; instead, he was transferred to La Liga giants Barcelona. Rüştü had a successful pre-season with Barcelona in his first season, until injury hit him. The opening match day of La Liga arrived, and Rüştü made his full recovery a day beforehand. Manager Frank Rijkaard chose to play Víctor Valdés because Rüştü's Spanish was still very weak. Rüştü was upset by this, saying "It is not normal for a goalkeeper of my history and caliber to be left out because I don't speak Spanish." Everything went downhill from there, and after a short, uneventful spell with Barcelona, he returned to Fenerbahçe, initially on loan.


After winning the league title for a third time with Fenerbahçe in 2006-07, Rüştü had a dispute with the club concerning his future role in the team. Volkan Demirel became the first choice for Fenerbahçe and now Rüştü was the second choice. Beşiktaş saw this opportunity to sign Rüştü, who was a free agent at the time. After the transfer, Fenerbahçe fans were enraged by his decision to move to a rival team. Despite the persistence of injuries, Rüştü was able to play a major role in helping the club win the Turkcell Super Lig in 2008-09 and has provided some memorable performances for Beşiktaş, most notably against Manchester United in a Champions League group game at Old Traffordmarker on 25 November 2009 where he produced a number of world-class saves to secure a famous 1-0 win. The result was especially sweet for Rüştü, who conceded six goals on his last visit to Old Trafford with Fenerbahçe.

International career

FIFA World Cup 2002

Turkey finished third in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, with Rüştü one of the impressing players making his way into the "Team of the Tournament". The tournament had enhanced his reputation and Rüştü caught the attention of the big European clubs. However, Rüştü had made a promise to the Fenerbahçe fans before the World Cup that he would see out his contract, which ended after the 2002-03 season.

Euro 2008

With Turkey's first choice goalkeeper Volkan Demirel suspended, Rüştü started their quarter-final match against Croatia. He was the captain of the team for the final handful of minutes due to substitution of injured Nihat Kahveci. A questionable foray from his goalmouth allowed Croatia to score the match's first goal with a minute remaining in extra time. Rüştü immediately made amends for his mistake though, assisting on Semih Şentürk's injury time goal in the 122nd minute. In the ensuing penalty shootout, he faced four kicks, saving the last one to secure Turkey's victory in the shootout and enabling Turkey to progress to the Euro semi-finals for the first time ever. In the aftermath of the semi-final game with Germany, he announced his retirement from the national team. However, he was since called up against Spain for a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match.

Personal Life

Rüştü is married and has 2 children (one son and daughter each) with wife Isil.






Career statistics

External links


  1. UEFA Team of the year 2002

1991-92 Antalyaspor 1 0 - - 1 0
1992-93 1 0 - - 1 0
1993-94 33 0 - - 33 0
1994-95 Fenerbahçemarker Süper Lig 9 0 8 0 - 17 0
1995-96 29 0 11 0 - 40 0
1996-97 28 0 8 0 - 36 0
1997-98 33 0 5 0 - 38 0
1998-99 30 0 5 0 - 35 0
1999-00 25 0 9 0 - 34 0
2000-01 33 0 8 0 - 41 0
2001-02 30 0 12 0 - 42 0
2002-03 24 0 - - 24 0

2003-04 Barcelona La Liga 4 0 - 3 0 7 0

2004-05 Fenerbahçemarker Süper Lig 29 0 - 6 0 35 0
2005-06 17 0 - - 17 0
2006-07 8 0 - - 8 0
2007-08 Beşiktaş Süper Lig 22 0 - - 22 0
2008-09 28 0 - - 28 0

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