Gönül with Turkey in 2016
|Date of birth||4 January 1985|
|Place of birth||Bafra, Turkey|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|2003–2004||→ Hacettepe (loan)||27||(5)|
|2006||→ Hacettepe (loan)||17||(3)|
|2006–2007||→ Hacettepe (loan)||27||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 March 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 May 2014
Gökhan Gönül (4 January 1985) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a right back for Süper Lig club Beşiktaş. Gönül is also a senior international for Turkey. Gönül was born in Bafra, Samsun, where he and his family lived before moving to Bursa when Gönül was six years old. His uncle signed him up with Bursayolspor's youth squad in 1999, and Gönül began his footballing career as a goalkeeper. However, after several other young goalkeepers signed with the club, Gönül was moved to the outfield. After putting in several performances, Gönül was told he would not play goalkeeper again. At first, Gönül played football as a hobby and something to play when there was nothing else to do. He began taking the sport more seriously when his coach at the time, Mehmet Kirazoğlu, took him under his wing and trained him individually. Soon after, Gönül played in a senior match against 30-year-olds; Gönül was 13 at the time.
Gönül played several positions before he could find his spot, lacing up as a libero, midfielder, and forward at various levels. Gönül was the captain of the 14-16 team at Bursayolspor, and helped the club to a 3-3 draw with Bursaspor, scoring three goals while playing libero. Hasan Bora, a staff member at Bursaspor at the time, was interested in signing Gönül after his performance. However, after seeing several of his peers join the club and fail to progress, Gönül took it as a sign and decided against joining the club. Fatih Terim, then coach of Galatasaray, also expressed interest in Gönül. He invited the youngster to Istanbul, but Gönül ultimately did not agree to join the team. Instead, he signed with Gençlerbirliği on 9 August 2002.
Gönül began his career with the Ankara-based club in the A2 league. In his first season, he scored two goals in 19 A2 league appearances. The following season, Gönül was loaned out to feeder club Hacettepe. He spent the 2003–04 season on loan, before joining the club on a full transfer at the end of the season. In his first two seasons with the club, Gönül scored eight goals in 48 appearances and helped the club to back-to-back promotions. Gençlerbirliği transferred him back to the club at the start of the 2005–06. However, an injury kept him sidelined for several months and he was unable to make his debut for the club. Instead, he was loaned out once more to Hacettepe at the winter break. Gönül helped the club to another promotion, completing three promotions in four years. He also won the award for Best Player of the TFF First League. Fenerbahçe transferred him before the start of the 2007–08 season, where he flourished under then-coach Zico. After putting in performances during the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League, he earned the nickname "Turkish Cafu". The club reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in club history. Gökhan Gönül extended to his contract in June 2012. The new deal will see him at the club until the 2015–16 and take home €1.7 million per season.
Gönül was never capped at youth international level. He made his debut against Norway on 27 November 2007. Gönül made three more appearances, but was not selected to the Euro 2008 squad due to his injury.
|Last Update: 20 March 2017|
|Turkey national team|
|1.||29 March 2011||Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, İstanbul, Turkey||Austria||2–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
- Includes Süper Kupa
- "Gönül adamı; Gökhan Gönül" (in Turkish). tff.org. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- "GÖKHAN GÖNÜL" (in Turkish). tff.org. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- Türker Tozar (17 April 2008). "Turkish Cafu coming to the boil". uefa.com. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- "Fenerbahce beats Sevilla on penalties to reach Champions League quarter-finals". dailymail.co.uk. 5 March 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- "Fenerbahçe extend Cristian Baroni & Gökhan Gönül's contract". turkish-football.com. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- "His First Match in His International Career, Norway 1-2 Turkey". whoscored.com. 17 November 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- "UEFA EURO 2016". UEFA. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- "GÖKHAN GÖNÜL". Turkish Football Federation. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- "Gökhan Gönül". National Football Teams. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
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