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Having helped Galatasaray AŞ to the top of the Turkish Süper Lig and into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League – where FC Schalke 04 await them on Wednesday – Umut Bulut is enjoying life.
The on-loan Toulouse FC forward has revelled since returning from France last summer to his homeland, where he has found only friendly faces – including former Trabzonspor AŞ team-mate Burak Yılmaz.
"Everyone has been very positive with me, whether it is the support of the fans or reactions in the street. I take a lot of pride in every achievement I have with Galatasaray, a Turkish team," Umut, who scored twice on his debut against Turkish Super Cup final opponents Fenerbahçe SK, told UEFA.com.
However, he says it is the "special" European nights that delight him most. "Playing in the Champions League is not something every footballer has the chance to do," said Turkish international Umut, who turns 30 next month. "I am very happy to have had the chance to do so this year in Galatasaray colours.
"The atmosphere, the music, the fans and the stadium – all of it is very different and a very special feeling. I think every footballer should experience this."
The two newest members of the Cim Bom squad boast an abundance of top-level European experience. January signings Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba have both lifted the European Cup – with FC Internazionale Milano in 2010 and with Chelsea FC in 2012 respectively – and Umut believes these recruits signify the ambition of the 18-time Turkish champions.
"Galatasaray are showing that they are a world-class team," he said. "We are a very big community, a very successful one, with national and international success. With these transfers we are showing that."
Click on the video above to see the Umut interview in full.
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