With next weekend's international coming up, TheFA.com profiles Emre Belözoglu
With next weekend's international coming up, TheFA.com profiles Emre Belözoglu - the gifted midfielder that will have to be watched carefully...
Emre Belözoglu is perhaps the most naturally gifted young player in Turkish football. Despite his tender age, he has already forged a reputation as one of the most influential midfielders in Serie A, where he plays for Milan giants Internazionale.
He first came to prominence when he made his debut for Galatasaray when he was still 17-years-old and whilst at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium he won two domestic championship titles (in 1998/99 and 1999/00).
Emre played in both legs of the 1999 Turkish Cup Final against city-rivals Besiktas and then won the Cup again the following year when Galatasaray beat Antalyaspor 5-3 after extra-time.
All of these honours came before the player had reached 20 years old - a remarkable feat in anyone's language. Though Emre was missing from the side that defeated Arsenal on penalties in the 2000 UEFA Cup Final, he was part of the line-up which beat European Cup winners Real Madrid in the European Super Cup later that year.
He made his debut for Turkey in their 2-0 home defeat to Norway in February 2000 and cemented his place in the Turkish set-up during the 2001/02 season which culminated in the World Cup where he played in six of Turkey's games, scoring one goal.
Since moving to Italy in the summer of 2001, the trophies have dried up - Inter having come so close yet so far in their quest for a first scudetto since 1989: they finished third in 2001/02 and second last season.
There is no doubt that the little midfielder represents a real danger to Sven's side next Saturday and it will take plenty of good defending to stop him weaving his magical wand.
by James Wright
Place of Birth: Istanbul, Turkey
Date of Birth: 7 September 1980
Weight: 68 kg
Height: 170 cm