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Even Ottoman geography doesn’t make sense of Capello’s five-Turk claim December 30, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer, German soccer, The World Cup.
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Fabio Capello’s recent tirade about “player threft” is so surreally bizarre it’s difficult to know where even to begin with it.

Capello apparently said regarding the last World Cup, “Germany had five of Turkish origin who opted to represent them and we all know what happened.”

That’s not true. Germany had only two, Serdar Tasci and Mesut Ozil, at the last World Cup. The Soccernet article quoting Capello makes the very gentle assumption that, when Capello said “Germany,” what he meant was “Germany and Switzerland,” meaning that the three Swiss players of Turkish origin could be counted as well.

It’s bizarre enough that Capello can’t keep the distinction between Central European countries clear in his head. Did he even know what players Germany was fielding against him in the World Cup round of 16? Which five did he think were Turkish, or did he assume he was facing the combined national team of Germany and Switzerland? Is he using a bizarre, outdated definition of “Turkish”? If we define Turkey as “the former Ottoman Empire,” we can squeeze in only two more “players of Turkish origin” (Sami Khedira and Marko Marin).