Galatasaray appoints Okan Buruk as new head coach in 2-year deal

Turkish Süper Lig giant Galatasaray has appointed former player-turned-coach Okan Buruk as his new head coach, the club confirmed Thursday.

The position was left vacant after Domenec Torrent was sacked earlier this week.

The Lions welcomed Buruk with a Twitter video message, showing a highlight reel of his playing career at Galatasaray.

In an announcement on the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), the Istanbul-based side revealed that the 48-year-old has signed a two-year contract, until the end of the 2023-24 football season, with the option for a one -year extension.

The club added that Buruk will receive TL 17 million ($980,000) for the 2022-23 season. If the club decides to continue with him in 2023-24, it would pay TL 20 million ($1.1 million) for the season.

Buruk was a pure Galatasaray product, coming through the Istanbul club’s youth system, before playing for the senior team.

He was one of the main pillars of Galatasaray when the team won the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup back in 2000.

As a Galatasaray midfielder, Buruk won seven Turkish Süper Lig titles, five Turkish Cups and a Turkish Super Cup.

In addition to Galatasaray, he played for Italy’s Inter Milan, Turkey’s Beşiktaş, and İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor, which was renamed İstanbul Başakşehir in 2014.

Buruk was also a regular name in the Turkey national football, earning 54 international caps for his nation before he retired in 2010.

As a coach, he has led several Turkish clubs, including Elazığspor, Gaziantepspor, Sivasspor, Göztepe, Akhisar Belediyespor, Rizespor and Başakşehir.

Buruk guided Başakşehir to the Istanbul club’s first and only Turkish title in 2020.

Before the sensational success at Başakşehir, Buruk won the 2018 Turkish Cup with underdogs Akhisar Belediyespor, now called Akhisarspor.

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