Souness recreates iconic Galatasaray flag celebration which led to death threats
Graeme Souness rolled back the years as he returned to former club Galatasaray to revive his famous flag celebration that once caused furious fans to send him death threats. The Scottish ex-footballer and manager recently stepped down from his punditry role with Sky Sports but far from taking it easy, Souness opted to travel to his former club in Turkey for the Istanbul derby and relive his iconic moment.
Souness played in the Merseyside derby, as well as experiencing the rivalry between Rangers and Celtic during his time with the Gers. But nothing compared to the raucous and frightening atmosphere from his time at Galatasaray.
Back in the 1995-96 season, Souness nearly sparked a riot when he planted a Galatasaray flag in the middle of the Fenerbahce pitch during his time as a boss in Turkey.
In a display of revenge to a Fenerbahce executive who had mocked him shortly after he had undergone surgery, the Scot decided to get his revenge by waving the flag on their pitch.
And some 27 years later, days after Galatasaray had clinched the Super Lig title ahead of their derby clash with Fenerbahce, the 70-year-old was brought out onto the pitch again to wave the flag at the Nef Stadyumu.
Souness told the tale of how he needed to be escorted down the tunnel by police after nearly inciting a riot, explaining his reasons for his anger towards Fenerbahce.
“One of their [Fenerbahce’s] vice-presidents had said ‘what are Galatasaray doing signing a cripple?’, he was referring to the open-heart surgery I had,” Souness recalled to Sky Sports.
“So we play them nine months later in the cup final, a two-legged cup final – we won the first game in our stadium 1-0, lose the second game 1-0 after ninety minutes. It goes to extra time, Dean Saunders – a really good player and great striker of the ball, before he’s actually made contact with it I am up off my seat knowing he’s going to score.
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“We win the trophy and after the game, all of our players ran down to one end where our supporters were and that great big flag was handed over. All the players took turns to wave it and then it’s my turn, I give it a few waves and then turned to hand it to someone.”
Galatasaray had wrapped up their 23rd title success with a 4-1 win over Ankaragucu last week, boasting the likes of Manchester United hero Juan Mata, ex-Napoli man Dries Mertens and ex-Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis in their squad.
And they capped their title triumph with a convincing 3-0 win over 10-man Fenerbahce on Sunday to finish their campaign on a high, with Nicolo Zaniolo scoring twice and Mauro Icardi rounding off the victory.
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