In the summer of 2020, Arda Turan – arguably the finest player Turkey has ever developed – emerged after spending the better part of a year in footballing wilderness.
Turan had once rolled out for Barcelona at the Nou Camp; he was his country's star during Turkey's fairytale Euros run in 2008, and then he was paid not to play football.
The midfielder was 19-years-old when he made his Champions League debut for Galatasaray, scoring twice, and he was 21 when he made club captain; 22 when he moved to Atletico Madrid.
The worlds was Turan's oyster, and his career was about to take off.
At Atleti, Turan was part of Diego Simeone's side that won the 11/12 Europa League, and they translated their success domestically with a La Liga win in 12/13.
The Turkish playmaker was central to Atleti's success, and he quickly became a household name, but his performances hadn't gone unnoticed.
In 2015, Turan made a dream move to Barcelona – for a rumoured €40million – however, Barca were amid a transfer ban, and the deal wouldn't be official until January, six months later.
So Turan spent six months in involuntary exile.
What do you think of Arda Turan ? Let us know in the comments section
And that was just the start, and Turan's career began to unravel.
Luis Enrique, who had been a big supporter of Turan, was relieved of his duties and replaced by Ernesto Valverde.
Valverde never explicitly told Turan he wouldn't don the famous jersey again, but he did loan him out to Istanbul Basaksehir for two-and-a-half years – the remainder of his Catalan contract.
His first year in Turkey ended in disgrace, and he banned for 16 games – the longest ban ever handed out in Turkey – for shoving a referee.
It was during his ban when Turan received a two year and eight-month suspended jail sentence in an incident that left singer Berkay Sahin with a broken nose.
The pair, allegedly, got into an altercation over Sahin's wife; Sahin ended up in hospital where Turan went to apologise, and the Turkish international ended up firing a gun into the ground – which was caught on CCTV.
Basaksehir, originally, stuck by him, but after his sentence was handed down – he will avoid prison if he doesn't commit another offence in the next five years – his loan was ended.
But Barcelona didn't want him, and he wasn't registered to play.
Don't miss a thing with our football updates!
Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?
Well then sign up for the brilliant Daily Star football email newsletter!
From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox – don't miss a thing.
How do you sign up?
It only takes a matter of seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.
And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.
You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.
Last summer, after the better part of a year without kicking a football – Turan's contract with Barca expired.
Turan is now back in his native Turkey, at Galatasaray, is playing first-team football again, however, he missed out on the Euro 2020 squad – and he hasn't represented his nation since 2017.
Source: Read Full Article