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Besiktas back to winning ways

Club history: Besiktas JK's latest title capped the club's centenary celebrations.

Over the next few weeks uefa.com will be charting the history of all clubs through to next season's UEFA Champions League from the third qualifying round onwards. Here we look at Turkish challengers Besiktas JK.

Centenary celebration
There was a neat symmetry to Besiktas Jimnastik Kulübü's title triumph of 2003, as it brought the Istanbul club their tenth league championship in their centenary season.

Late developers
Formed as a gymnastics club in 1903, Besiktas extended their activities to football ten years later, and claimed their first honour when they won the local league in 1924. However, it was not until the inauguration of Turkey's professional league in 1959 that the team emerged as a true force.

Championship material
National champions three times in the 1960s, they claimed the domestic game's prize bauble on two further occasions in the 1980s, before enjoying arguably their most successful period at the start of the following decade.

Milne's men
English coach Gordon Milne guided the club to three successive league titles between 1990 and '92, with a team that included forwards Feyyaz Uçar, Metin Tekin and Ali Gültiken. A measure of that side's brilliance was the 10-0 victory against Adana Demirspor in the 1989/90 season which remains a record scoreline for the Turkish Super League.

Pelé praise
Nor were they the only thing of beauty associated with Besiktas. Pelé once described the club's Inönü stadium, situated in a green area leading up from the Bosphorus, as "one of the most beautiful football grounds in the world".

Cup tradition
Despite the picturesque setting, however, and a decent cup tradition that has yielded five Turkish Cup wins, Besiktas are widely regarded as Istanbul's third team behind Galatasaray SK and Fenerbahçe SK.

European record
Unlike Galatasaray, they have never lifted a European trophy. Their best performances in UEFA competition came in the 1986/87 European Champion Clubs' Cup, when they reached the quarter-finals before bowing out against FC Dynamo Kyiv, and the 2002/03 UEFA Cup, where they avenged that defeat by beating Dynamo en route to the last eight.

Scoring sensation
None the less, the 'Black Eagles' have a proud history dating back to the days of Hakki Yeten, the star striker who scored 382 goals for the club in 439 games. Yeten spent 17 seasons with Besiktas from 1931, but failed to make an impact on the national team as the Second World War limited him to three Turkish caps.

Local hero
A modern hero of the Inönü is left-sided midfielder Sergen Yalçin, a homegrown talent who was once touted as his country's most technically gifted player.

Back on top
It was with an eye on the future though, as well as the past, that Besiktas began their 2002/03 centenary campaign. The club's ninth, and previous, title triumph had come in 1994/95, and they had subsequently been second best in the Super Ligi in three of the next five seasons. But Mircea Lucescu's team changed all that by improving on their third place the year before and winning the division by eight points from Galatasaray.