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5 reasons why Besiktas are dark horses in the Champions League

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22 Nov 2017, 17:11 IST

#4 Manager Senol Gunes

Galatasaray AS v Trabzonspor AS - Turkish Super League
Senol Gunes was the mastermind behind Turkey's 2002 World Cup success

To have success as a smaller side in a competition full of top teams, you need a great tactician in charge of the team. Besiktas seems to have one with the 65-year-old Gunes.

He was the man in charge in 2002, when Turkey ended up finishing 3rd at the World Cup. They lost just 1-0 in the semi-finals against eventual winner Brazil as Ronaldo scored the lone goal in the 2nd half. The two also met in the group stage and the Brazilians needed a late Rivaldo penalty to get a 2-1 win.

In the knockout stages, the Ronaldo goal was the only one Turkey conceded before a 3rd place playoff against South Korea, which they won 3-2.

Gunes seems to know his stuff when it comes to playing in sudden death situations and that will be a very valuable asset for Besiktas on their quest of progressing even further in the Champions League.

The former goalkeeper was hired in 2015 and he's won the league title on both occasions since then. Before that, Besiktas hadn't won it since 2009. The Black Eagles also already caused some noise in Europe last season with only a penalty shootout loss to Lyon keeping them away from the Europa League semis.

With some better luck, maybe Besiktas can reach the semi-finals stage this season in the Champions League.

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