Behich reflects on record-breaking campaign in Turkey
Socceroos and Istanbul Basaksehir defender Aziz Behich reflects on a landmark season for him and his club which saw them claim their first Turkish Super Lig title.
Behich and his Istanbul Basaksehir etched their names into the history book on July 19 after they secured the Turkish Super Lig championship for the first time in the club’s history.
They also became only the second team outside the league’s ‘top four’ sides (Galatasaray, Besiktas, Fenerbache, Trabzonspor) to win the Turkish top flight.
The record-breaking campaign also saw Behich receive his first piece of silverware at club level.
“We were the best team in the league this season, we really deserved to be champions and we did it with a week left which was also nice,” Behich told Socceroos.com.au.
“Everyone involved has put their names in the history books. It’s very special and on a personal note, it’s my first club championship.
“I’ve won it with the national team, which was very special, the Asian Cup, but I was missing that club football one.
“I had two chances at Bursaspor, but I lost both cup finals there, so this one was nice to get my hands on.
“It really hasn’t sunk in properly yet but after the celebrations it was just great to get that medal around the neck and lift that trophy.”
Basaksehir boasted one of the strongest line-ups in the competition with the likes of ex-English Premier League stars such as Robinho, Gael Clichy and Martin Skrtel featuring in their squad.
Playing alongside these players was a massive privilege for Behich who believed that these high profile players as well as the other international players at the club is what brought his side such success last season.
“We have a great club with a lot of experience. We have players who have played at the very best teams at the highest level in the world. That’s something that we were lucky to have this season because when it comes to the crunch time of the season, we really needed that experience,” Behich said.
“The depth in our squad is not only just those players but all the other players that we have.
“We have got a great squad, a very strong squad as well.
“It really helped us this season and to play alongside these guys, growing up in Australia you get to watch these guys in the Prem or in the Italian League and now being teammates with them, it’s something special and something you don’t think about,” he said.
Behich’s achievements in Turkey are testament to the development of Aussies playing abroad as he joined the likes of Awer Mabil and Milos Degenek who became league champions in Denmark and Serbia respectively.
“For us (Australians) there is no limit of what we can do. When you look at our national team, we’ve got a lot of boys playing in Europe and doing really well,” Behich said.
“It’s always been harder to prove ourselves in Europe but I think over the years, what we’ve done with the national team winning the Asian Cup along with the performances we’ve put in at the World Cups have put a good stamp on people’s minds across Europe.”
An exciting future lies ahead for the Socceroos defender with plenty still to achieve with his beloved club.
"I’m contracted to Basaksehir for another couple of years," he said.
“I’d love to win the league again and we have Champions League next season now after winning the league, so I still have a lot of goals and a lot of football left in me, I’m only 29.
“I still want to win titles and I’m at a great club to do that.”