Arda Turan has been no stranger to controversy in the last couple of years: he left Atletico for the Camp Nou during a transfer ban, meaning he was happy to leave the Calderon to not play for Barcelona for half a year; and before he left, he threw a boot at a linesman in a game against Barca.
This week, however, he has been caught up in a firestorm of a far greater magnitude. He has retired from international football as part of the fall-out from an incident on a flight after a friendly game with Macedonia in Skopje.
The BBC report that Turan physically and verbally abused a journalist on the flight. It is claimed that he branded him “shameless” over a report the journalist wrote about a pay dispute at Euro 2016.
Witnesses say that Turan then grabbed the journalist by the throat, before being restrained.
The journalist in question is Bilal Mese, a 70-year-old man who has been working as a journalist since 1973.
Amid the fall-out, Faith Terim expelled Turan – who is his country’s captain – from a training camp in Slovenia the following day, and now he has announced his retirement:
“ I think the time has come.
I am ending my career with the national team. I really love my country. I really love my flag. I have always said if that’s what you want, I will retire.”
Turan has been capped 96 times by Turkey, but it now appears he will not make it to a century of appearances.