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Lucescu takes over as Turkey coach

Mircea Lucescu has been unveiled as the new coach of Turkey after agreeing an initial two-and-a-half-year contract to replace Fatih Terim, who left the position last week.

Mircea Lucescu has been appointed as Turkey's new coach
Mircea Lucescu has been appointed as Turkey's new coach ©Getty Images

Mircea Lucescu has been appointed as the new national team coach of Turkey after agreeing to replace Fatih Terim, whose reign came to an end last week.

The experienced Romanian has signed an initial two-and-a-half-year contract, with an option for a further year, and will now lead Turkey through the remainder of their European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"We are proud to be working with a coach who has won 35 trophies during his career," said Turkish Football Association (TFF) president Yıldırım Demirören. "I got in touch with Lucescu on 31 July and he accepted immediately."

Lucescu, 72, is a well-known figure in Turkey after winning league titles with both Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, before a trophy-laden 12-year stint with Shakhtar Donetsk that yielded eight Ukrainian championships and the UEFA Cup in 2008/09. Most recently, he held the reins of Russian side Zenit last season.

"I had very good times with Galatasaray and Beşiktaş over a four-year period," explained Lucescu. "I was approached by the TFF twice in the past, and I've finally agreed to come here. Maybe I should have done it earlier."

Lucescu's first test at the helm will be a World Cup qualifier away to Ukraine on 2 September, before his team host Croatia three days later. Turkey currently lie third in Group I, level on points with Ukraine and two behind both Croatia and Iceland.