Cenk Tosun on life at Beşiktaş and making history

Beşiktaş striker Cenk Tosun discusses home advantage, his strengths, making history and feeling like "I'm coming home to see my friends when I come to the training ground".

Cenk Tosun has been in fine form for Beşiktaş
Cenk Tosun has been in fine form for Beşiktaş ©AFP/Getty Images

Beşiktaş have never reached a European semi-final – how exciting is that prospect?

I believe we have the quality to reach the semi-finals and win this competition. We want to make history with Beşiktaş.

Individually, you've scored three goals in four UEFA Europa League appearances – what do you put that down to?

Hard work – nothing happens if you don't work, so I try to go the extra mile in order to be successful. When my coach gives me the opportunity, I try to deliver. I've developed a lot during my three years at Beşiktaş, and the coach has made a massive contribution to that.

Watch Cenk Tosun score as Beşiktaş beat Olympiacos
Watch Cenk Tosun score as Beşiktaş beat Olympiacos

How would you describe your playing style? What are your best attributes?

People say I'm good at finishing in the penalty area and I agree with them. Also, I can use both my left and my right foot very well and don't have a preference, which is a definite advantage.

You used to be considered one of the subs, but you've become a key player this season. What influence did Demba Ba and Mario Gomez have during your first two seasons at the club?

I learned a lot from Demba Ba and Mario Gomez – I developed and gained a lot of experience. They are both top-quality strikers. I increased my goal haul last season and finally felt ready to break into the starting XI. The coach trusted in me and I'm repaying his faith by scoring.

Highlights: Cenk Tosun scores against Hapoel Beer-Sheva
Highlights: Cenk Tosun scores against Hapoel Beer-Sheva

What is it like playing at the Beşiktaş Park?

I had played as part of the away team at the [old stadium], which had a truly amazing atmosphere. We were homeless for two years, but reconnecting with our fans at our new stadium this term has been an amazing feeling.

Our team is more motivated when there's a connection with the fans. We're undefeated at home in the league and I think it will be difficult for anyone to beat us. We'll give Lyon a hard time here too.

What's it like working with Şenol Güneş? How does he prepare his players?

I consider myself lucky to be working with the two best coaches in Turkey: Fatih Terim for the national team and Şenol Güneş at Beşiktaş. Of course I spend a lot more time with Şenol Güneş and it feels like he's peaking after many years in his profession.

Watch Cenk Tosun's double for Turkey v Finland
Watch Cenk Tosun's double for Turkey v Finland

His arrival has had a great effect on us – we've been playing some great football in the last two years. The biggest plus with a coach like that is that he's a friend to us. The fact he comes from a teaching background means he has excellent one-on-one communication skills.

Beşiktaş are top of the league again in Turkey and into the last eight of the Europa League – how's the atmosphere in the camp?

It's a cliche, but it's like a family here. I don't see my team-mates as team-mates; I feel like I'm coming home to see friends when I come to the training ground. Nobody has any feelings of jealousy towards anyone else; everyone thinks well of each other which helps to encourage success.

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