TheFA.com profiles the man Sven's men will have to beat - Turkey's Barcelona-bas
TheFA.com profiles the man Sven's men will have to beat - Turkey's Barcelona-based goalkeeper...
Time was when no self-respecting English club would even consider buying an overseas goalkeeper but those days have long passed and it is no surprise that both Manchester United and Arsenal showed keen interest in the summer in bringing Rustu Recber to the Premiership.
That both clubs were beaten to the Turkish keeper's signiture on a Bosman free by Barcelona says a lot about the esteem in which Rüstü is held by Europe's biggest clubs, impressed by his outstanding performances at last year's World Cup, where the black polish worn under his eyes and his greased-back hair marked him out as one of the most distinguishable characters of the tournament.
Born in Ankara, 30-year-old Rüstü spent his entire career with Fenerbahce before signing for Barca where he has fulfilled a life-long dream.
"Since I was seven I have been a fan of them," he said. In terms of the national team, no-one has come close in Turkey to threatening his position for the best part of a decade, in fact ever since he made his international debut against Iceland in October, 1994.
Regarded as a brilliant shot-stopper, Rüstü's very presence inspires his team-mates. He has played in two successive European Championships and although he had a nightmare match in Turkey's opening game of Euro 2000 when he looked distinctly unsure on crosses, he has improved considerably since then.
There's no doubt that Rüstü is bound to have a massive role to play on Saturday when he could be the difference between automatic qualification and a playoff spot for Sven's men.
by Andrew Warshaw
Place of Birth: Antalaya
Date of Birth: 05 May 1973
Weight: 82 kg
Height: 184 cm
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