Why Arda Turan's move to Barcelona means so much to Turkey

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Arda Turan's transfer to Barcelona this summer isn't just a dream come true for him personally, but it is an immense source of pride for his country Turkey.

It is 12 years since the Catalan giants fielded a Turkish player, in the recognisable and enigmatic goalkeeper Rustu Recber who made a grand total of 23 appearances during his troubled spell at the Camp Nou which saw him usurped in goal by a young Victor Valdes.

Turan's transfer to last season's treble winners is curious, however, since their transfer ban isn't set to be lifted until January 2016 and he will be forced to wait patiently to make his debut with his new club.


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Barcelona is perhaps the only club in the world that a player such as Turan, the Turkish national captain and a player at the peak of his powers at 28 years of age, would be willing to take six months out of his career in order to eventually pull on the famous Blaugrana shirt.

Training with Messi and co will no doubt get him up to speed with playing the famous Barca way as he strives to maintain his fitness and sharpness, and the Catalans themselves will be as eager as Turan will be for him to start playing for the club as their squad looks rather depleted of established first-team regulars at this moment in time.


Doubts remain as to whether Turan will actually be able to break into the Barcelona starting XI, with Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta currently occupying the creative midfield positions.

However, the Turk is able to play on the wings too so perhaps he will be used as a rotation option for Neymar and Lionel Messi.

Turan is blessed with great passing ability, vision and dribbling skills and was Atletico Madrid's key creative spark during his time at the Vicente Calderon as Diego Simeone's side defied all expectations to claim the La Liga crown in the 13-14 season.

He had now better get used to being a bit-part player at his new club rather than the main man.

Much like Welsh fans were in raptures about Gareth Bale's transfer to Real Madrid, Turkish supporters have been hugely enthused about Turan's transfer to Barcelona.

Turkey is one of the most fervent and fanatical football nations on earth and for their captain to play for the biggest team on earth is a very big deal indeed.

It gives hope to young aspiring footballers in Turkey that with talent and application it is possible to reach the very top of world football.

Regardless of whether he's an instant starter at the Camp Nou or not, the whole of Turkey will be cheering the Catalans on and be keeping a very close eye on their national captain and pride and joy. 

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