What makes round of 16 debutants Beşiktaş special? – UEFA Champions League – News
With Beşiktaş making their debut in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 after a record-breaking autumn, UEFA.com picks through the Black Eagles’ feathers.
Nicknames: Black Eagles
UEFA club competition honours
Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)
• League title: 15 (2017)
• Turkish Cup: 9 (2011)
• Not everyone calls them the Black Eagles. Snarky rivals call them the Coachmen. Why? The suburb of Besiktas is an affluent one (offering superb views from the north bank of the Bosporus) and the multi-sport club’s original members in the early 1900s were often the children of high-ranking pashas – officials in the Ottoman Empire – who were well-heeled enough to be taken to training sessions by (horse-drawn) coach.
• They are European ground-breakers. In the autumn Beşiktaş became the first Turkish team to qualify for the UEFA Champions League round of 16 by winning their group. This is their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League’s last 16 – though they got to the last eight in the 1986/87 European Cup, losing 7-0 on aggregate to Dynamo Kyiv.
• They have a fortress. The Black Eagles are unbeaten in both league and European action in 39 games at the Beşiktaş Park (W27 D12), which staged its first match on 11 April 2016 – a 3-2 Süper Lig win against Bursaspor. Their only compeititive defeat at their new home so far was a 1-0 Turkish Cup loss to arch-rivals Fenerbahçe in February 2017.
• They are the only side to have won the Turkish league unbeaten since its foundation in 1959. The campaign was 1991/92, when – under English coach Gordon Milne, a former Liverpool midfielder and Leicester manager – they posted stats of P30 W23 D7 L0.
• They were huge in the early 1990s. That sensational 1991/92 season marked their second of three straight title successes under Milne, their eighth, ninth and tenth championships. His six-and-a-half-year reign (from 1987–94) remains the longest single spell in charge for any Süper Lig boss.
• Beşiktaş still boast the Turkish league’s longest unbeaten sequence and longest winning streak. The 1991/92 triumph came amid a 48-game undefeated run, while none of their rivals have been able to equal their 13 consecutive victories in the 1959/60 campaign.
• They registered the biggest win in the history of Turkey’s professional league. In the 10-0 mauling of Adana Demirspor in October 1989, home-grown heroes Metin Tekin (3), Ali Gültiken (4) and Feyyaz Uçar (3) all scored hat-tricks. The cult surrounding the Metin-Ali-Feyyaz (aka MAF) triumvirate began there, fans singing in their honour from then on. Beşiktaş also share with Galatasaray the record for the league’s biggest away win, having prevailed 9-1 at Hacettepe in 1959/60.
• They were watched by the largest attendance in Süper Lig history. Unfortunately, they lost 2-1 at home to Galatasaray in front of 76,127 spectators at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium on 22 September 2013.
• They claim to have the world’s noisiest supporters. Beşiktaş lag behind Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe in terms of numbers of fans (their capital rivals being backed by 33% and 29% respectively of the Turkish population), but their faithful are regarded as the most fervent. Notably, a cheer of 132 decibels was recorded in the wake of their 2-1 UEFA Champions League scalp of Liverpool on 24 October 2007 – approximately equivalent to the sound of a military jet taking off.
• Their passion can get the better of them. Beşiktaş remain the only team in Süper Lig history to have had five players sent off in a game – the dismissals of Antônio Carlos Zago, İbrahim Üzülmez, Ahmet Yıldırım, Daniel Pancu and İlhan Mansız forcing their home fixture against Samsunspor on 24 January 2004 to be abandoned after 84 minutes with the visitors leading 4-1. Samsunspor were awarded a 4-0 forfeit win.