Fatih Terim, Commendatore OSSI, (born September 4, 1953 in Adana, Turkey) is one of the most successful football players and managers of Turkey. He is considered to be one of the best managers due to his ability to motivate his players and aggressive game strategies.
Just before the game, I cheered up my teammates, as a captain has to do, and ran out to the field. As I looked back on the field, no one was behind me. I was so fast that nobody could follow me. I was so excited.
Terim played 6 more years with Adana Demirspor. As a successful striker, he joined Galatasaray SK in 1974. As the team captain, he had to fill in for injured defenders and eventually he ended up playing regularly as a sweeper/defender. Terim played for 11 years for the Istanbul club. However, during his time with Galatasaray, the club was not able to win the championship trophy in the Turkish league. Terim was capped to the Turkish national team 51 times, from 1974 to 1985, and was the national team captain for 35 international games, establishing the national record for both categories at his time. He ended his playing career in Galatasaray in 1985.
Abdullah Gegic, a legendary football coach with Partizan Belgrade (of former Yugoslavia) and Eskisehirspor (of Turkey), knew Terim from his days as a central defender and described Terim as an intelligent defender with Beckenbauer like qualities. Gegic attributed Terim's successes as a coach to his unique understanding of the game that was developed during his time playing as a central defender.
In 1990 he was appointed as assistant to Turkey's national coach Sepp Piontek, where he also coached the U21 team. After serving as assistant coach for three years, he collected enough brownie points to be appointed Turkish national team coach in 1993. Three years later, the Turkish national team succeeded in qualifying for the final tournament of the Euro '96 for the first time in its history under his management. Although the national team did not perform well in the tournament (losing all the games, and not being able to score a single goal), the qualification to the tournament was still considered a great achievement for Turkish football.
After Euro 1996, Fatih Terim signed a contract with Galatasaray S.K.. Under his management Galatasaray won the championship in the Turkish league for four consecutive years, crowning his achievements by winning the UEFA Cup in 2000, making Fatih Terim the most successful Galatasaray manager in its history. Unfortunately his departure allowed Mircea Lucescu to clinch the UEFA Super Cup in 2000 for Galatasaray. After this victory big clubs were chasing after him, clubs like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, PSG, Valencia and AS Roma
His aggressive and offensive style of football, and his tense relations with the mercurial club president and owner Vittorio Cecchi Gori made Terim a favourite amongst Fiorentina fans. In Fiorentina, Terim had a significant start, beating AC Milan (4-0) and holding Juventus to a 3-3 thrilling draw, and eliminating Milan 4-2 on aggregate to reach the final of the Coppa Italia. However, in the middle of the 2000-2001 season, Terim declared that he was not going to extend his contract with the club since Cecchi Gori did not intend to make the investments that he requested. After his declaration, the team's performance declined significantly, and his continuing clashes with the club president urged him to resign before the season ended.
In the summer of 2001, he was named the coach of AC Milan turning down offers from other clubs like FC Barcelona and Liverpool. Immediately he signed Rui Costa and Ümit Davala to the club. He transformed AC Milan's system, playing with a system very similar to the Total football style of Rinus Michels. It was a simple 4-3-1-2 formation with Rui Costa as the playmaker. While he was coaching AC Milan, the team reached the third round of the UEFA Cup. However, after several disappointing results, his contract was terminated and making his AC Milan career last only 5 months.
In the summer of 2002 he returned to Galatasaray. Due to internal problems within Galatasaray’s management, financial difficulties of the club, and the failure of his transfer policies, he had a disappointing performance. In the first year of his return Galatasaray lost the championship title to rival Beşiktaş J.K.. Fenerbahce beat Gala 6-0 with 10 men under his management and this remains as an embrassment to his CV that he never wants to talk about. His second year was a complete failure, not qualifying from the Champions League groups and a bad performance in the Turkish Super League, which led him to resign and take a break in his managing career in March 2004. In the meantime clubs like Internazionale and AS Roma tried to lure Terim back to the Serie A, but with no success. In the summer of 2005, Terim was asked to coach the Turkish National Team. He signed a contract with the Turkish Football Federation, where he still coaches.
During the Euro 2008 finals, Terim and his Turkey side were remembered as the "comeback kings". Having lost their opening game against Portugal, Turkey came back dramatically to snatch a last gasp victory against co-hosts Switzerland and then again doing the same by coming back from a 2 goal deficit to stun the Czech republic in their final group game which allowed Terim reach the quarter finals at the Czech's expense.
During their quarter final clash with Croatia, Terim struggled extreme difficulty to find attacking options, having been handicapped with many suspensions and injuries. As the game looked to be slipping away from them, they were stunned when Ivan Klasnic scored in the 119th minute of extra time to almost certainly win it. Terim was credited in the sense that Turkey still managed to come back and equalise almost immediately and then win the advancing penalty shootout.
Eventually losing to Germany in the semi-finals, Terim finished his campaign at the tournament with an amazing statistical record with his national side - out of the estimated 490 minutes of playing time, Turkey only lead for 13 of them. Terim's contract was extended to 2012 at the conclusion of the tournament.
On May 8, 2008, Fatih Terim was honored with the rank Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana (2nd Class / Commander of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity) by the Italian state at a reception hosted by the Italian Embassy in Ankara .