Nihat Kahveci (2016)
|Full name||Nihat Kahveci|
|Date of birth||23 November 1979|
|Place of birth||Istanbul, Turkey|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Like most Turkish players, his shirt carries his first name, Nihat, rather than his family name, Kahveci. He married Pınar Kaşgören on 5 July 2003. Their daughter Selin was born in May 2008.
Nihat is a product of Beşiktaş's youth system and was discovered by Hürser Mustafa Cindir when Nihat played in Beşiktaş in the 1996–97 season. He joined the first team at Beşiktaş in the 1997–98 season when he was just 17, at the time John Toshack was the coach. Since then, Nihat became a key player.
His first goal came in a 2–2 draw against Rayo Vallecano on 24 February 2002. In the first half of the season, Nihat played 11 matches and scored one goal.
In 2002–03, his second season in Spain, Nihat scored a brace in the Basque derby, the opening match of the season, helping his team to win 4–2. He finished the season with 23 goals making him the league's joint-second highest scorer for the season behind Roy Makaay (29 goals) and tied with Ronaldo. That season, Real Sociedad finished second in the league that season, just two points behind Real Madrid., mostly thanks to a very fruitful strike partnership with Serbian forward Darko Kovačević, such that sports journalist Phil Ball nicknamed the pair "Little and Large", in reference to the height difference between the two (Nihat's height is 1.75 m and Kovačević's is 1.87 m). His consistent, good performances have led to interests from other clubs, to which Nihat turned a deaf ear.
In his third season at Real Sociedad, Nihat made 32 appearances scoring a total of 14 goals. Nihat also played in the UEFA Champions League with Real Sociedad as the club was paired with Juventus, Galatasaray and Olympiacos. La Real qualified to the knockout stage, but was eliminated by Olympique Lyonnais, losing 2–0 on aggregate. By the end of the season, Nihat won the Don Balón Award for Best Foreign Player.
In his fourth season, Nihat made 23 appearances and scored 13 goals. In the middle of the season, Nihat tore his ACL during a match against Sevilla which caused him to be out of action for six months.
In June 2005, reports claimed that Nihat was linked to Russian club CSKA Moscow for €20 million Euros but the move never materialized. Nihat insisted he had to concentrate on the club to prevent relegation: "I can’t go now. I can't walk out on Real Sociedad, We are fighting to try and secure some tranquillity and I am one of those who thinks that the more strength there is in the team, the better. On Sunday we took a very important step in Santander, and now it is a question of continuing to take steps forward in the league.". Nihat was also linked with clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United.
In his fifth and last season at Real Sociedad, Nihat made his return from injury in a 3–0 loss in the Basque derby, against Athletic Bilbao. He went on to make 32 appearances and score seven goals. During that season, Nihat was about to sign for Russian club Spartak Moscow but had to stay for the remainder of the season due to Kovačević's injury.
On 16 May 2006, Nihat agreed to join Villarreal CF, on a five-year contract, on a Bosman transfer after rejecting a new contract at Real Sociedad. He tore his ACL again on 22 November 2006 during a training ground collision with team-mate Javi Venta and was out for months. He seemed to catch up form in his second season with 18 goals in the league and 4 goals in the UEFA Cup, helping his club to finish the season as second in La Liga where he formed a formidable offensive pair with Robert Pires. The Spanish newspaper El Mundo named Nihat as the best player on the team. However, in the 2008–09 season, due to injuries again, Nihat made 19 appearances equalling 764 minutes of playing time but failed to score a single goal.
Return to Beşiktaş
On 27 June 2009, Nihat returned to the club where he started his career by signing for Beşiktaş J.K. on a four-year deal. Return to Turkish football wasn't very fruitful for Nihat. Over two seasons he managed 34 appearances in the league, netting only three goals. On 25 April 2011, in a match against Konyaspor which turned out to be his last game, Nihat and the new Beşiktaş favourite Ricardo Quaresma had quarrel on the pitch. Nihat was upset at Quaresma for failing to pass the ball and the altercation was broken up by team mates. On 18 May 2011, Beşiktaş terminated Nihat's contract despite two years left on his contract and he told Turkish media: "I don't want to play in Turkey anymore.".
After a six months without a club, on 12 January 2012; Nihat announced his retirement from football with immediate effect, saying: "I would like to share my decision to put an end to my professional career as a footballer,". After some days, Nihat told NTV Spor that his retirement was prompted by his age limiting his ability on the pitch and admitted that returning to Besiktas was a mistake and ill-judged, although stated there were some beautiful moments.
"When you get old, you can't do anything you want on the pitch, I must admit my return to Turkey was not a success and it hurt me as a man who was used to success. I was angry at myself, and there was some heavy criticism too. After I left Besiktas, I thought maybe I could play somewhere else, but I saw that I wanted to call it a day. Every good story has a beginning and an end. I have had some very beautiful moments. I had great joy when I was healthy and playing well."— Nihat told NTV Spor about his retirement
2002 World Cup
Nihat made his international debut against Sweden in October 2000. In Group C, Nihat made his only appearance as a 79th-minute substitute for Yıldıray Baştürk against Costa Rica. His only other appearance was as a substitute in the 1–0 victory over Japan where he replaced, the goalscorer, Ümit Davala. Turkey went on to finish in third place with a 3–2 victory over Guus Hiddink's South Korea.
In the round of 16 match of Euro 2008 Group A, Nihat scored twice in a pivotal match against the Czech Republic. Both teams were level on points, both having beaten Switzerland and lost to Portugal, with exactly the same number of goals scored and conceded, a win would guarantee a quarter-finals spot whilst a draw would mean penalty-shootouts would be required. The Czechs took a 2–0 lead through a Jan Koller header and a Jaroslav Plašil goal and the score remained 2–0 until the 75th minute, when Arda Turan scored making it 2–1. Nihat's first goal came in the 87th minute; Hamit Altıntop's cross was dropped by Petr Čech allowing Nihat tap the ball into the net. He scored his second goal one minute later; a brilliant, curling strike from outside the box, helping Turkey win the match 3–2.
Nihat was ruled out of Turkey's semi-final with Germany due to a thigh injury, which ultimately required surgery and prevented him from playing for Villarreal in the early part of the 2008–09 season.
On 6 July 2012, it was reported that Nihat has joined the coaching staff at his former club Villarreal as an assistant-manager of the youth team.
"Villarreal CF has opened the doors and I have always felt at home, I played three seasons here and in recent times I have followed the team as an amateur. I have much affection and, therefore, I am very glad to be in this club. I want to start my new career coaching from below, like I did as a player, The president Fernando Roig has made history at this club and certainly have the ability to return to the elite as soon as possible. We must also rely on the new coach, Julio Velasquez, if the club has chosen it is because they will have the conviction that the team will return to First Division."— Nihat on his new job.
|1.||6 October 2001||Stadionul Republican, Chişinău, Moldova||Moldova||0–2||0–3||2002 FIFA World Cup qual.|
|2.||21 August 2002||Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium, Trabzon, Turkey||Georgia||3–0||3–0||Friendly|
|3.||12 October 2002||Gradski Stadium, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia||Macedonia||1–2||1–2||UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying|
|4.||7 June 2003||Tehelné pole, Bratislava, Slovakia||Slovakia||0–1||0–1||UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying|
|5.||11 June 2003||BJK İnönü Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey||Macedonia||1–1||3–2||UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying|
|6.||20 August 2003||Ankara 19 Mayıs Stadium, Ankara, Turkey||Moldova||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|7.||24 May 2004||Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Australia||Australia||0–1||0–1||Friendly|
|8.||9 October 2004||Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey||Kazakhstan||2–0||4–0||2006 FIFA World Cup qual.|
|9.||13 October 2004||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||Denmark||1–1||1–1||2006 FIFA World Cup qual.|
|10.||26 May 2006||Ruhrstadion, Bochum, Germany||Ghana||1–0||1–1||Friendly|
|11.||2 June 2006||Trendwork Arena, Sittard, Netherlands||Angola||2–1||3–2||Friendly|
|12.||6 September 2006||Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany||Malta||1–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|13.||17 November 2007||Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway||Norway||1–2||1–2||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|14.||21 November 2007||Ali Sami Yen Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey||Bosnia and Herzegovina||1–0||1–0||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|15.||25 May 2008||Ruhrstadion, Bochum, Germany||Uruguay||2–1||2–3||Friendly|
|16.||15 June 2008||Stade de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland||Czech Republic||2–2||3–2||Euro 2008|
|17.||15 June 2008||Stade de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland||Czech Republic||3–2||3–2||Euro 2008|
|18.||22 May 2010||Red Bull Arena, New Jersey, United States||Czech Republic||2–0||2–1||Friendly|
|19.||3 September 2010||Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan||Kazakhstan||0–3||0–3||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
- FIFA World Cup: Third Place: 2002
- FIFA Confederations Cup: Third Place: 2003
- UEFA European Championship: Semi-finals 2008
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- "Nihat y Trezeguet están en la órbita de la Real Sociedad" (in Spanish). AS.com. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Cygan, el subcampeón de Europa que juega en una liga provincial de fútbol sala" (in Spanish). Marca.com. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
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- Steve Tongue (18 June 2008). "Nihat's double shocks Czechs". London: The Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
- McNulty, Phil (23 June 2008). "Injury rules Nihat out of Euros". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
- "Nihat formará parte de la escuela del Villarreal CF" (in Spanish). Villarreal Official Homepage. 6 July 2012. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Pla Diaz, Emilio (6 December 2018). "Spain - Footballer of the Year". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
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