My favorite football team in Istanbul is Fenerbahçe. I actually started supporting them long before I ever visited the city because of their history and one player in particular, Lefter Küçükandonyadis (see below).
Fenerbahçe plays their home games at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadyumu in Kadıköy. The stadium was originally built in 1908 and renovated to its current capacity of 50,509 in 2006. It contains a museum and gift shop.
I’ve been fortunate to attend two games at the stadium. One was to see Fenerbahçe in 2011 and another to see the Turkish national team in 2012. My schedule never quite worked out to see more games, or reasonably priced tickets were hard to come by for the ones I could attend.
Outside the stadium is a lighthouse that stands as a monument to the club (fener means lighthouse).
If you walk towards Moda over a bridge with a polluted creek flowing underneath, you’ll find yourself at the pleasant Yoğurtçu Parkı, a large open space with trees and a harbor running alongside.
At the end of the park are monuments to two Fenerbahçe legends. The first is of Lefter Küçükandonyadis, a footballer of Greek descent who was also one of the best ever to play for the Turkish national team. He scored 423 goals in 615 games for Fenerbahçe and 22 goals in 50 games for his country. He captained the national team nine times. Lefter died in 2012 and remained a respected figure throughout his life.
The other statue is dedicated to Brazilian Alex de Souza. He played for Fenerbahçe from 2004 to 2012, scoring 172 goals in 346 games. He was the team captain and a fan favorite.