By: Oma Akatugba, Monaco
former Bayern Munich and Real Madrid defender, Hamit Altintop has revealed the reason he chose to play for turkey and not Germany where he was born and raised.
With names like Mesut Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan and Emre Can representing Germany despite having their roots in Turkey, you wonder why a player like Altintop, who had an equally successful club career, playing for Bayern Munich, the biggest club in German football history amongst others, opted for Turkey ahead of Germany, a more illustrious football nation.
The now-retired player told omasports in Monaco his reasons for opting for Turkey, a decision that was regarded by his fans in Germany as “strange.”
Altintop, who was distinguished for his energy in his days said being born in Germany as a Turk ensured he had two fronts to grow from. As a Turk and as a German and said it was essential to experience in his development but he felt completely Turkish while growing up in Germany.
“I was born in Germany but I am Turkish. It is like when someone goes from Germany to the USA and delivers a baby there (USA) that baby is still German. In my case, I had the Turkish culture, Language and food at home. I did everything the Turkish way.”
“For sure, I am very thankful for the education, the teachings and the support from my teachers, my club coach and teammates. But this is always both sides (You know what I mean) I was always serious, I worked hard always, i followed the rules. I gave something back. This is a good combination of two serious people”
On the role Germany played in his development, Altintop said.
”Great question! Germany played a great role in my life and education was fantastic. It has followed me every step and I’m thankful. I’m proud of this because I enjoyed this one as I did elsewhere.”
Hamit Altintop now works in Turkey as a board member of the Turkish under 20 national team and other youth football-related matters.