Emre signing made official by Atlético

The Turkey international joins Atleti on a free transfer and signs for two years

atletico confirm signing of midfielder emre belozoglu

Emre takes on Xavi in 2010 World Cup qualifier
(Getty Images Europe)

A day after confirming the signing of Uruguay international and former Porto man Cristian ‘Cebolla’ Rodríguez, Atlético have announced their second free transfer of the summer window: Emre Belözoglu.

The Turkey international has agreed to a two-year deal with los Colchoneros, where he will join countryman Arda Turan, thus ending his four-year spell at Fenerbahçe after having previously suited up for such noteworthy clubs as Galatasaray, Inter Milan and Newcastle United.

The midfielder is scheduled to arrive in Madrid on Thursday according to Atleti’s official site, when he will undergo a medical and sign his new contract.

“Emre has what it takes to triumph at Atlético,” said national selection team-mate Arda of the latest Rojiblanco.

“He has shown the personality necessary to take the reins of big clubs and his experience can help us greatly in key matches. For me, he is like an older brother, I have learned a lot from him.”

Atlético sporting director José Luis Pérez Caminero added: “With Emre, we bring in a new profile to our midfield. We were after his quality passing and his control of play. His experience should offer even more strength to our squad, one of the youngest in the league.”

Emre has been somewhat of a controversial figure, having been accused of racism on two separate occasions in 2007 while in England, and this past season in Turkey.

What are your thoughts on this signing?


  • Rob

    This signing sucks. I don’t want this racist bastard at Atleti. Besides that, he isn’t anywhere near the player he was at Galatasaray many years ago. He’s not good enough anymore for the level Atleti needs to be at.

  • shay

    The truth, good signings so far. but only cuz its for free.
    But these are back up players.. Common… I wanna see a quality signing!!!

  • rojiblanco93

    This guy will rock our stadium for the next two years, he is a gattuso with offensive skills! He is a player who will always give everything he has ,thats exactly a player we need, hes style fits to Cholos style !! MEGA GREAT SINGING !!! Carry on atletico , carry on !! Now we need a back up for falcao …

  • Ramirez

    He is an offensive mid-fielder,passing rate and offensive game skills is good but defensively he is not enough. Atletico needs defensive players more than offensive

  • rojiblanco93

    If he wants the ball, he gets the ball !

  • Urban

    A lot of people from Turkey on this site lately so maybe someone will have an opinion to share?

  • Mustafa

    I’m from Turkey and I can easily say that he is the most racist footballer ever! However, apart from that, Emre is the most talented Turkish central midfielder I’ve ever seen. People are saying that he hasn’t got the defensive abilities; Emre will run like mad non-stop throughout the game to make sure he tires opponents. He can play both sides of the game, and trust me is better than Mario Suarez and all the others! Atletico is lucky to have Emre and Arda, Arda’s performance will boost with this signing!

  • Javi Lozoya

    He is box-to-box midfielder, not exactly a DM. Therefore we still need a DM. Not sure about Emre’s signing given that we have Koke and there’s Saul coming through the young rank. I suppose with Emre’s signing Diego won’t stay.

  • shlomgar

    I’m not Turkish sadly, but I do know how a bad player can look good on YouTube. Emre looks like the real deal and if I’m not mistaken, able to play as LB. I know we all share a thought about lack of DM for a while now but we just lost a captain who were Felipe’s replacement. If he got injured last season we could have been relegated, and it’s worse now without A.Lopez.

    So no matter what you think of the guy, and I particularly can’t stand racism, he is a good value for no money. Now we have to sell though. I guess it will be a midfielder, Tiago/Koke. Hope not but it won’t be Mario or Butcher Gabi.
    And yes. If it keeps Falcao I’ll sell Salvio today!

  • Mustafa

    Emre is not a LB. Javi Lozoya is correct; Emre is more of a box-to-box midfielder and don’t be mistaken by youtube; Emre is better than those videos that there is of him, having watched him live 🙂 however, I am certain that Emre is not considered to replace Diego, as he will most likely take the role of Tiago or Koke. I honestly believe this transfer was done to boost the morale of Arda Turan

  • Anthony

    I am first person who gave the news on Emre’s transfer to Atletico. Madrid on this site. Neither am I a fan of Fenerbahce, Emre’s former team, nor Galatasaray, Emre’s first club. The rivalry between these two teams are similar to R.Madrid vs Barcelona. Emre was always admired and loved by GS fans until in his return to Fenerbahce from Europe while everyone expected that he would be back to GS, again. It was similar to Figo’s transfer.

    He became the most hated player and became the villain and scapegoat when Turkey failed to qualified for major tournements. Media criticized him and his team-mates but he replied back with the same level of harshness (swearing, hand gestures, etc). Following that, Mmedia wanted a revenge and turned the public against him. The only way for Emre to continue play football is to leave Turkey; hence, this transferred occurred.

    If anyone fairly make statement Emre, you will all know that there is no doubt in Emre’s skills and talents. Although he is a defensive-minded mildifielder, he can comfortably play off as an offensive midfielder. Emre can dictate the game. His driblling skills, passing accuracy, effective long range shots and free-kicks are superior to most players.

    Emre is an aggressive player on the field and very temperemental. If he can bring it a notch down, you will all see what an incredible player he is. Emre is a fighter can give it all throughout the game. Unlike Arda, he is in the game for 90 minutes. Surprisingly, he has not seen really red cards more than a few but I think the refrees are lenient about him a little. He also needs to shut his mouth up, and not get into fight of words with his opponents, or media. Ii don’t think the media will be an issue for Emre. The sport media in Spain is different and a lot better.

    As long as he stays healthy like the way he did with Fenerbahce most of the time, Emre’s spot is guaranteed. No coach can give up a player with Emre’s talents and skills. He also makes other player and the team overall better.

  • Ugur

    I’m from Turkey and here’s what I have to say. Emre does have a short temper. He can lose his cool easily and there are quite a few people in Turkey that don’t like his character. However with that being said, he has great passing and ball control skills. He’s neither a DM or an ACM but more of a box-to-box midfielder or and advanced playmaker. Against weaker opponents he can completely dictate the midfield and move the ball around with ease. Due to his age, he’ll probably be a backup at Atleti and was probably purchased because he was a free transfer.

  • Anthony

    In regards to comments about Emre being a racist, yes, he admitted that he has said offensive words to Zokora or even accused of other incidents in England while playing for Newcastle, as Emre said and I believe he is not racist. I have the played the game for so long and i know how heated the competition gets. Turkish players are really very emotional. They reflect a combination of Balkanic and Mediterranean macho temperemant especially in soccer. Turks, players as well as spectators, are highly fanatics. There is excessive passion.

    I won’t defend Emre, what he said was improper but because of his English, the only way he thought he can get into the head of the opponent was to use such a terrible slur. He knew if he cursed in Turkish, Zokoro wouldn’t understand and move on. So Emre acted like an idiot. After all, most football players are not much educated in Turkey. Turkish clubs are not run like true professional clubs. There are no classes given for players. The coach comes and say “all right, no bad words, and no cards.” Then, he moves on thinking the players will take responsibility. These are guys in their 20s and with not much education, they do not know what is appropriate or not. But it is wrong!
    When the incident happened, It was the play offs and Emre was a key player for his team. TFF was afraid to give him more than two games ban because Fenerbahce is a very powerful club outside of the pitch and would have accused TFF for handing the championship to Galatasaray if Emre was banned more than 2 games.

    I think he probably learned his lesson. I can’t see him making the same slurs and then saying “when I played in England, people used such slurs so I said the same!” It is just stupid.

  • aktas23

    I’m from Turkey, someone said that he is not enough defansively, this is wrong, he will be the most running player in this team. He can play for defence and offance very well. Atletico doesn’t have any player at same quality now but the problem is his caracter.He is aggresive, antipatic and racist. Almost no one like him in Turkey.Everybody respecr his football but his caracter:( So if he contro himself there, Atletico will have a great player.

  • Urban

    Lol he wont make too many racist comments since he prolly doesnt speak Spanish 😀

    And if he has character – its even better, we lack some of it.

    But if the board really wanted to buy a compatriot for Arda they should have gone for Burak Yilmaz, we actually need such player and with 5 mln clause he is a bargain, he is worth at least twice as much.

  • Javi Lozoya

    nah. If we are going to sign another Turkish player that should be Cenk Tosun, or Muhammed Demirci. They are very interesting prospects.

  • Javi Lozoya
  • aktas23

    Muhammet Demir and Muhammet Demirci are different players. Demir a forward he is really has talents to be a scorer bu Demirci is number 10 he is invated La Masia but his family wanted 3 M € when he was 11 or 12 years old but unfortunately he didn’t play any prosfessioanal game so far. He is espactred Turkish superstar in the future.

  • Javi Lozoya

    I never mentioned Muhammed Demir… just Demirc.i And I obviously know about him, that’s why I mentioned him. He is very talented and has everything to become a world class player.

  • We have too many Offensive players in this squad. But an “OK” signing. I wanna see a Striker and Defensive Midfielder. Come on Atletico Buy other players in other departments of the game.

    Aupa Atleti!!

  • Mauricio

    Emre is a quality player. His technique is top-notch, has great vision and is a hard worker. Great left leg. He”s a type of Barton, but without the steroids Barton uses.

    At this moment, Emre is a better player then Nuri Sahin is. That’s why he’s still the player for that position at the national squad.

    If Atletico will move for yet another Turkish player, it should definitly be Burak Yilmaz. Great striker, a bargain for 5 million, because of the clause in his contract.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Since you guys insist so much with Emre, I’m gonna say I don’t like his signing. He arrived for free yes, but he has demanding wages. Plus if he isn’t Diego replacement I don’t get his signing then when Atleti has Koke and Saúl Ñíguez. Way to low the youngsters morale by signing a 31 year old.
    I assume Emre’s signing has to have something strange since Jorge Mendes represents him. Perhaps Mendes and Gil Marin are going to earn some money out of this despite Emre arriving for free.
    Instead of paying Emre’s wages, the club could I don’t know, buy a decent DM instead?, or have Ruben Perez back from Getafe. But no, they’re instead choose to sign Emre and pay his demanding wages. Bravo Mr. Gil Marin!.
    And honestly, signings like this don’t inspire too much excitement if you ask me. I’m not being negative, just stating my humble opinion.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Why not promoting Saúl and have him as Diego sub or on the bench?. When is gonna be his time?. He is young, I’m aware of that, but under Simeone’s tutelage I think he’ll learn a lot and do fine.

  • Javi Lozoya

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU-dszcggX8&list=UU0VQ3KaoRcn-q2xv7455mHQ&index=1&feature=plcp I think he is ready, but that’s up to Cholo, or the board…

  • Javi Lozoya

    I guess Saul is gonna spend next season with Atleti B again…

  • shay

    Javi, I dont get the video you published. He can pass a ball.. big deal.. And BTW, Saul and Koke are good but we need exp. Send Saul on a loan and give Koke 30 minutes per game. Emre is not the best sighning in the world but for sure not the worst. Turkish players have great character (and i’m from Israel) and Arda will work greatly with him..

  • Javi That video just puts me too sleep. And i take back what i said about Emre. I realize he is both a defensixe and Offensive Player i thought he was not defensive.

  • k14

    Not sure why you have a problem with Emre signing, it make total sense to me, he will be competing for a central midfield spot, so most likely he will take Tiago spot if he does well. If what the guys say about his fitness and stamina then he is a defiantly an upgrade over Tiago.

    I get you guys dont like the board members at all, but when you keep accusing them of something, it would look better if you showed your source of info.

  • I would love to see a TRUE defensive Midfielder here at this club and all of you who said buying falcao and adrian was a mistake. Shut your mouths and admit youre wrong (when they arrived)

  • Javi

    Javi L don’t dream about good signings because you are seeing what we are getting, players that just get the job done and come cheap
    We will see a few players get sold, including unfortunately Salvio. But Were not picking up anything out of the ordinary
    The good news is Were keeping Falcao but lets see what he does without Diego

  • Dircil

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2012/05/23/3121921/diego-in-the-dark-over-atletico-madrid-future <—- look at this article and think what the hell is the boards thinking. By the way, how much Atletico has to pay for Diego full service at Vicente Calderon ?

  • Javi Lozoya

    I can’t express my opinion or what?, what’s wrong if I’m not excited with Emre?. First of all I don’t think we even need him since we have a decent hand of CM. We have Gabi, Tiago, Koke, and Saul coming through the youth ranks.
    And I believe the board can find another better options.
    I remind you that Atleti has won the Europa League twice in three years. So there must be obviously better players interested in playing for the two times Europa League champion.
    And the fairy tale that Atleti doesn’t have money, it’s just a fairy tell. Of course Atleti has money, enough to buy decent players, but of course Gilma have some other plans.

  • Javi Lozoya

    So the video about Saul bores some of ya’?. perfect. I guess you know nothing about football then. Btw, it was just a sneak peek. Saul is actually better than that. I don’t have to explain myself. The kid is talented enough and deserves a chance with the first team. He is the future of Atleti. Emre is 31, I don’t see where is the team going. But whatever.

  • shlomgar

    JaviL. Chill bro. Nothing ssid on this Comment Section is either personal or professional. We all think we know what’s best for our beloved Atleti but I guess only Cholo knows. Saul is definitely Atletico’s future and will get his chance to shine, but we do have the youngest squad in Spain and experience is a force to be recognised.

    Shay@ I was meaning to ask you where you from. Thought I was the only Israeli here. Where do you live? How old are you?

  • Sam

    From what I can see, the dude deserves a shot. If he keeps his mouth shut and plays well, fine. If he pulls any of that racist nonsense, ship him out come winter transfers, not a whole lot lost.

    El frente will like him regardless it seems…

  • @Javi
    You just talkin about age, for me it dosnt count because footbal is all about experience. For example just look at Pirlo at juve hiz 32 now but he is the best midfielder in Italy now. Xavi is 31 and Alonso 4 Barca and madrid respectvly Lampard and Gerard 4 chelsea nd l’pool respectivly all 31 and many more examples.
    Emry is a suces with FB so let wish him success with our club and about those youngsters they have to wait for their time.

  • @Amed9ja Who’s “FB”

  • ali_

    fenerbahce

  • Anthony

    Although both Arda and Emre are the products of Galatasaray, Emre has played for Fenerbahce in the last four years which means you have half of Turkish footballs fans will be visiting Atletico site. Now, if you buy Burak from Trabzonspor, the 4th biggest club, you will have 90% of Turks browsing your website. Although Burak is a member of Trabzonspor currently, he also played for Fenerbahce and Besiktas but he is a Besiktas, the third largest club in Turkey, fan and he openly says so. You better make some improvement and probably make the website readable in Turkish. By customizing your products, you can really generate revenues from possible tens of millions of Turkish footbal fans…

  • Anthony

    …assuming most have internet connection… :))

  • Ardious – TURKEY

    Anthony you’re right; “If anyone fairly make statement Emre, you will all know that there is no doubt in Emre’s skills and talents. Although he is a defensive-minded mildifielder, he can comfortably play off as an offensive midfielder. Emre can dictate the game. His driblling skills, passing accuracy, effective long range shots”. More he is very agressive. If i dont know where he is from, i assume that he is the brother of Gattuso. But, On the other hand he thinks that he is the king in Turkish football, but he dont knows that the king(he) is naked. The real kings were Metin Oktay, Rıdvan Dilmen, Hakan Şükür, Hagi and today Alex de Souza in Turkish Football. In order to be a king first be a man, as man. Dont forget great Atletico Fans; Emre Belezoğlu = factor 3 of a problem