Lefter Küçükandonyadis

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Lefter Küçükandonyadis
Lefter Küçükandonyadis.jpg
Lefter in 2009
Personal information
Date of birth (1924-12-22)22 December 1924
Place of birth Büyükada,[1] Istanbul, Turkey
Date of death 13 January 2012(2012-01-13) (aged 87)
Place of death Şişli, Istanbul, Turkey
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)
Playing position Inside left
Youth career
1938–1941 Taksim SK
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1941–1943 Taksim SK 90 (75)
1947–1951 Fenerbahçe SK 135 (100)
1951–1952 ACF Fiorentina 30 (4)
1952–1953 OGC Nice 12 (2)
1953–1964 Fenerbahçe SK 480 (323)
1964 AEK Athens F.C. 5 (2)
Total 752 (506)
National team
1948–1963 Turkey 50 (22)
Teams managed
1965 Egaleo F.C.
1965–1966 Supersport United
1966–1967 Samsunspor
1967–1968 Orduspor
1968–1969 Mersin Idman Yurdu
1969–1970 Boluspor
1970 Samsunspor
1972 Samsunspor

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Lefter Küçükandonyadis (Greek: Λευτέρης Αντωνιάδης , Lefteris Antoniadis;[2] 22 December 1924 – 13 January 2012) was a Turkish football player of Greek descent, who is recognized as one of the greatest footballers to play for Fenerbahçe and Turkey.[3]

Early life and club career[edit]

Lefter playing for Fiorentina.
Statue of Lefter Küçükandonyadis at Yoğurtçu Park, close to Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, in Kadıköy, Istanbul.

Lefter was born as the son of a fisherman on the island of Büyükada in Istanbul. He grew up with ten other brothers and sisters, and was of Greek descent, his family did not take part in the mass exodus of ethnic Greeks from Turkey during his childhood.[2] He started his footballing career in Büyükada (an island in Istanbul) but professionally played first with Taksim SK, a club based in the European sector Istanbul. He transferred to Fenerbahçe in 1947, achieving instant success. He was one of the first Turkish footballers to play abroad, playing during 1951–1953 for ACF Fiorentina in Italy and OGC Nice in France. Returning to Fenerbahçe, he won two Istanbul League titles and later, after the start of the Turkish national league, three Turkish League (1959, 1961 and 1964) championship titles. In the season 1953–1954, he was the top scorer in the Turkish league. He scored in all a total of 423 goals in 615 games for Fenerbahçe. After ending his career in Turkey in 1964, he played a single season in Greece with AEK Athens FC. He participated in five games in the 1965 season scoring two goals before an injury in the match against Iraklis forced his retirement.

National football team[edit]

Küçükandonyadis was capped 50 times for the Turkish national football team, 9 of which as the captain. He also played at the 1954 FIFA World Cup netting in 2 goals, one against West-Germany and the other against South-Korea. He scored 22 goals for the national team and was the top scorer for Turkey until overtaken by Hakan Şükür. He was the first Turkish football player to receive the "Golden Honor medal", from the Turkish Football Federation, for having played for the National Selection in 50 international matches.

After active football[edit]

Lefter coached Egaleo F.C. in Greece and Supersport United in South Africa. He later returned to Turkey and coached the clubs Samsunspor, Orduspor, Mersin Idmanyurdu and Boluspor.

He was also known as "Ordinaryüs" (professor of professors) in Turkey.[4] His statue was built next to the Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium in 2009.

He was buried in the Greek Orthodox cemetery on his native island.[2]




  1. ^ http://fenerbahce.org/fb2008/detay.asp?ContentID=27467
  2. ^ a b c Ferentinou, Ariana (16 January 2012). "Farewell to Lefter". Hurriyet. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Κουκουλας, Γιαννης. "Η Γκαλατάσαραϊ του Αλί Σαμί Γιεν και του UEFA". kathimerini. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Turkish football mourns loss of Lefter Küçükandonyadis


  • Hergün, Haluk (2012). Lefter (Futbolun Ordinaryüsü) (in Turkish). NTV (Biyograf Dizisi). ISBN 9786055443481. 

External links[edit]