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Trabzon, the sun is on the horizon / Süper Lig / J28 / Fenerbahçe-Trabzonspor / March 6, 2022 /

Leader of the Turkish elite with fourteen points ahead of Konyaspor, its current runner-up, Trabzonspor is heading straight for a title that has eluded it since 1984. Its supporters are waiting for it, and especially for their favorite team to sweep Fenerbahçe this Sunday to make the party complete. A way to heal an open wound eleven years ago, when the crown promised to Trabzonspor had failed on the head of the Istanbul club at the end of a season marred by stories of corruption.

“I was 16 and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a young boy whose joy and happiness had been stolen. I chained horrible nights. » These words are those of Baycan, a Trabzonspor fan, when he thinks back to the evening of May 22, 2011. The one that saw Fenerbahçe be crowned champion with as many points as Trabzonspor (82 points), the famous Istanbul club ending on the highest step of the Turkish elite thanks to the goal average. And yet, the fanatic of the blue and garnet stable assures him, “We are the real champions. God knows the truth and that is the most important thing. » The reason ? UEFA had remanded numerous Fener members, including president Aziz Yildirim, indicting them in a big match-fixing case a few months later. With indisputable evidence that nineteen meetings were arranged, the European body excluded on July 3, 2011 the young Turkish winner of the Champions League the following season. As for the title, nobody really knows if it’s still in the trophy cabinets of Fener, Trabzon, or neither. If in the streets of Kadıköy, every July 3, it is said that the good name is forever etched in history, in Trabzon it is said “the long story of a stolen championship” through press releases.

Flawless dominance

Today, however, these sad times seem deliberately buried in the distant past. “Even if we avoid talking about it, we have all taken the full measure of this story. We know that everyone still has this open wound, says Fodé Koïta. Champion of France in 2012 with Montpellier, Koïta has been defending the colors of the Trabzon club since this summer. It is certain: a feat similar to that of the flock of Loulou Nicollin can also materialize in Turkey. “Something big is happening. Everything is working in our favour” , he says. With no less than fourteen points ahead eleven days from the end, Trabzon is heading straight for the title. In 2019, the six-time Turkish champion was not far from succeeding. But the coronavirus and a new investigation into the non-respect of financial fair play by the club of Ahmet Agaoglu, president since 2018, had seen Trabzonspor finish second to Başakşehir for four small units. This year, nothing seems to be able to stop the army Bordo Mavi (garnet and blue in Turkish, Ed). Baycan is sure: this workforce is simply “the most extensive in the last 40 years” . Hard to contradict him. With twenty wins, six draws, a small defeat and an invincibility against the leaders of the championship, the record of Trabzonspor makes everyone drool. His baraka, too. “We have everything for uscontinues Fodé Koïta. We are capable of making history every weekend. To say, even trailing 2-0, we can win the match. We have a strength that allows us to get to the end of things every time. I don’t know how to describe it, but we all feel it. »

On the stable bench Bordo Mavi since November 2020, Abdullah Avcı has had something to do with it. “The coach managed to create an ideal environment to work in. He built a real groupcontinues the 31-year-old Franco-Guinean. There is quality and an excellent mentality. He managed to federate and it shows on the lawn. » With Gervinho, Andreas Cornelius, Edin Višća, Marek Hamšík, Bruno Peres or even Tymoteusz Puchacz among the twenty recruits who arrived last summer, the Trabzonspor coach has found the perfect cocktail for everyone to be involved in goal number 1: the title. “All of that translates perfectly into the locker room. Whether at half-time of a match, before or after a match, there is never a single player who speaks. Everyone speaks and no one is left out. It’s a great strength.” , testifies Koita. A well-established collective, a capital of confidence at its peak, what to do with it “Team to Kill” , summarizes the former resident of La Paillade. Two forces to which is added a third asset allowing the perfect gearing: the twelfth man.

“Today we are on a mission”

To describe the 40,000 members who fill the Şenol Günes stadium every weekend, Koïta answers without trembling that “reminds him a bit of Lens” . Passed to the Sang et Or in 2012, he found in Trabzon “this family side” : “In the stadium we see children, old ladies, mothers, young people, grandfathers, and all are behind the team. But the best part is that they talk football all week. Tomorrow, I could talk for several minutes with a grandmother who knows all the players, the tactics… Today, we are on a mission. After all that these people have known, we must seek this title. »

While waiting for the festivities, there will be electricity in the air on the sidelines of this Fenerbahçe-Trabzonspor. “It’s the most important game of the season for all the fansrecalls Baycan. If you finish first, losing to them will taint the course. It’s a meeting etched in everyone’s head. » In the first leg, the Blue and Garnet had won 3-1 in the last minutes. A new victory this Sunday would make it possible to give a smile to Baycan, to all the supporters of Trabzonspor, to get even closer to the grail, but above all to return the favor to Fener. Dependent contrast.

by Matthew Darbas
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