Clubs: Çanakkale Dardanelspor, Galatasaray AŞ, Valencia CF
• Mehmet Topal spent four years developing his talent as a tall, tenacious defensive midfielder at Çanakkale Dardanelspor but suffered relegation to Turkey's third tier in his final season.
• Joined Galatasaray in September 2006 but was unable to impress Belgian coach Eric Gerets sufficiently to warrant a regular first-team place during his first season.
• His cause was helped by a long-term injury to new signing Tobias Linderoth, enabling him to establish himself in his team-mate's absence as Galatasaray's midfield pivot, making 26 appearances, 22 of them in the starting lineup, and scoring one goal as Galatasaray regained the Süper Lig title in 2008.
• Made his debut for Turkey as a late substitute in a February 2008 friendly against Sweden (0-0) and went on to star at UEFA EURO 2008, making four appearances as Turkey reached the semi-finals.
• Struggled with injury over the next two years but joined Valencia in May 2010 for €5.5m and made his debut back in Turkey at Bursaspor on UEFA Champions League Matchday 1, playing all 90 minutes in a 4-0 win; scored his first goal for his new club 11 days later in a 2-0 Liga win at Real Sporting de Gijón.
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