Appiah Delighted With Fenerbache Switch

Thu, 28 Jul 2005 Source: Ibrahim Sannie

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Black Stars captain Stephen Appiah has spoken of the reasons why he turned down offers from some English clubs to join the Turkish side Fenerbache from the Italian giants Juventus.

The 24-year-old midfielder who trained with Fenerbache for the first time yesterday says turned down offers from English sides Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Birmingham City and Middlesbrough to have the opportunity to play in the European Champions League. ?The decision to join Fenerbache was taken in conjunction with officials of Juventus who wanted to cash in but I must say that the opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League was enticing.

?I also received assurances from President Aziz Y?ld?r?m that coach Christoph Daum and key players like Anelka, Alex, Fabio Luciano and the great players of the Turkish national will stay with the team to ensure that we have a strong squad for the group stages of the Champions League,? Appiah added. ?Participating regularly in top level competition in Europe ensures that I am in top form for my country?s World Cup qualifiers.?

Even though some football fans were critical of his move to Turkey, Appiah says that the performance of his new team in the Champions League will win the critics over.

?The football culture is well entrenched in Turkey. I was surprised at the reception I had on my arrival with nearly 3,000 people turning up at the airport on my arrival for the medicals last week.

?After passing the medical test more than 300 supporters of the team bought my jersey and from the day I touched down in Instanbul I knew the supporters crazily love the team and would want the team to succeed,? the 24-year-old said.

?With the world class coach and the committed players we have I am sure the supporters here will be happy and Ghanaians will be pleased.?

Stephen Appiah joined Fenerbache last week for nearly US$ 10 million on a four-year contract.

Source: Ibrahim Sannie