It was in the 66th minute of Galatasaray SK's visit to Vestel Manisaspor on Sunday that Hakan Şükür directed the ball beyond promising goalkeeper Ufuk Ceylan to make the score 2-1. Fans in Turkey have got used to his headed goals over the years but this one was different – the 241st league strike of his career it made him the top marksman in the country's top-flight history.
With his goal in the match that would end 2-2, Hakan Şükür broke a Süper Lig record held by another Galatasaray great, Tanju Çolak. One day after his 36th birthday, the veteran’s feat won headlines in many of the Turkish newspapers while the club's official magazine ran a detailed story about their top three scorers in their September issue - with Metin Oktay completing the illustrious trio.
The former FC Internazionale Milano and Blackburn Rovers FC forward, who has achieved his feat from 461 games, only found the net four times last term prompting some to wonder whether he would be able to claim the milestone before the end of his career. However, two goals against Rizespor in the first game of the season edged Hakan Şükür level while also bringing his Galatasaray tally up to 219, clinching another landmark by overtaking Metin Oktay as the club's all-time top scorer.
Now the man who scored the fastest goal seen at a FIFA World Cup when he found the net after nine seconds against Korea Republic in 2002 and is Turkey’s leading marksman with 51 goals in 110 games, can fairly claim to be the most prolific forward the country has ever known. "I am very happy for him. I hope he will continue like this," said Galatasaray coach Karl-Heinz Feldkamp after the Manisaspor match. Hakan Şükür himself, meanwhile, preferred to think of his mother who is struggling with illness: "I am dedicating this record to my family especially to my mother," he said.
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