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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Sukru Gulesin

Updated: Jul 4

Şükrü Mustafa Gülesin was born in Istanbul, Turkey, on September 14, 1922.

Source Wikipedia

He started playing football with small local clubs. His first big professional club was Beşiktaş where he played for ten years (1940-50) with the exception of one year (1944-45) with Ankaragücu. He won six league titles with the Black and White Eagles on the Bosphorus. His managers included legendary Italian Giuseppe Meazza, considered one of the country's best ever players and winner of two World Cups (1934,1938).

In 1950 he joined Lazio in Serie A but was immediately loaned to Palermo. He had a positive season with the "Rosanero" playing 28 league games with 13 goals. His stay on the island, however, was marred in the spring when he was badly beaten up outside a nightclub. His relationship with the Sicilian Eagles deteriorated and at the end of the season he returned to Rome.

In 1951-52 he played an excellent season with Lazio, he played 29 games and scored 16 goals. The Biancocelesti too had a good season and finished fourth .

In 1952-53, obviously having patched things up, Sükrü surprisingly returned to Palermo. He made 22 appearances and scored 7 goals.

In 1953 he played a local tournament for a small Roman club called Chinotto Neri Casilina. Chinotto Neri is a popular soft drink, especially in Rome, so they could well have been one of the first sponsored clubs. The symbol of the drink was Otto (8) in the name Chinotto. At their games, in the working-class district of Tor Pignattara, the teams would come on missing the number eight who then ran on individually to much fanfare. A club ahead of the times.

In 1953 he returned to his homeland but not to Beşiktaş, but rather to city rivals Galatasaray. At least he finally played for a team who were not eagles. He stayed two years at "Gala" with 40 games and 16 goals, winning the league title with "Cim Bom" in his second season.

He earned 11 caps for Turkey with 4 goals.

After retiring he became a journalist. He returned to Rome for a period working as a correspondent for an important Turkish newspaper, "Milliyet". He then went back to football as manager of Izmirspor (1961) and Saudi Arabia (1969) before returning to journalism.

Sükrü died of a heart attack in 1977. It was big news in Turkey as he was a well known and popular figure.

Sükrü was a giant. At 1.91 metres tall and weighing around 100 kilos he was an imposing figure. Despite his size he was quick and relatively technical and he was a penalty, freekick and corner specialist. He holds the record of goals directly from corners (without assists), 32. He also had an exceptionally powerful shot. One story tells of the Padova goalkeeper, when playing Palermo, literally moving away from Sükrü's penalty kick to avoid getting hurt. One weakness in his game was that he was surprisingly poor at tackling.

At Lazio he was considered a success. He scored an enviable 16 goals in his only season in Rome. In Turkish Sükrü means smiling and Lazio fans often certainly were on seeing the big Turk hammer in goals.

Appearances and goals for Lazio


Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Zentropa Cup






29 (16)

29 (16)



31 (16)

29 (16)




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