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İlhan Mansız (born 10 August 1975) is a former Turkish football player of Crimean Tatar origin
He attracted much attention from female fans due to his fashionable dressing style and hairdo, being listed among other football players such as David Beckham who are often categorized as metrosexuals. Being of Tatar origin, he gained many Japanese female fans because of his looks, which was an important factor in his transfer to Vissel Kobe[1].
After his Japan journey, he signed a contract with Hertha BSC but because of his injury, he never had a chance to play. His contract was cancelled due to a clause in the contract saying that if his knee was injured again, they would release him[2]. After his short stint with Hertha BSC, İlhan signed a one year contract with Turkish club Ankaragücü. He was slowly but surely coming back from his plague of injuries and helping Ankaragücü in the Turkcell Super League[3].
Before 2006/07 season, he declared his decision to retire from football. As of 2007 there were rumors that he was getting training in Los Angeles, USA to make a come back to football. These rumors are revealed by İlhan Mansız and he declared to sign contract with Ankaragücü again. However, this final comeback attempt was abandoned before the 2007/08 season, as he announced his retirement.[4]
He gained international recognition at Istanbul's Beşiktaş J.K., and was later acquired by the Vissel Kobe football club in Japan
1860 Munich
He tried to turn back to professional football and started training with the squad of the TSV 1860 München in July 2009.[6].
[edit] International career
İlhan made his debut for Turkey as a substitute during their final group-stage qualifier against Moldova in October 2001[7]. The speedy striker earned his way onto coach Şenol Güneş' squad on the strength of an outstanding 2001-2002 season for Beşiktaş, when he led the Turkcell Super League in scoring and helped the squad to a third-place finish.
The best goal of his career came in the 2002 World Cup quarter final against Senegal. He came on as a substitute for Hakan Şükür in the 67th minute, and netted a golden goal in the 94th minute to send Turkey through to the last four of the competition, in which they ended up taking 3rd place. In the 3rd place game İlhan Mansız assisted Hakan Şükür to score the fastest goal ever in a World Cup finals match.[8]
İlhan is something of the David Beckham of the Turkish side, mobbed by screaming fans wherever he goes. And, like Beckham, he has lived up to his reputation off the field and on it. Since making his debut, he has had a massive rise to prominence.
He is aso remembered by his rainbow trick against brazilian defender Roberto Carlos in World Cup 2002 semifinal clash, which was one of the best skill displays of the entire world cup.
Mansız was a relative unknown in international circles prior to the 2002 World Cup. Despite his display of prodigious talent on the world stage, his health concerns and advanced age precluded serious consideration on the part of European clubs. Mansız declared "It is too late for me, I wish I had been discovered sooner in my career."