Euro Cup : Terim indicates quitting Turkey job

Basel, June 26:

Fatih Terim’s tenure as Turkey coach appears to be over following his team’s 3-2 loss to Germany in the European Championship semi-finals.

Although Terim didn’t officially resign in the wake semi-final defeat, he made it sound like he was on the lookout for a new job. “I hope the next person will make them (Turkey) champions,” Terim said. “I will probably go to a European country, but it will not be proper to say it now before I talk to the president (of the Turkish football federation).”

Terim has become one of the most recognizable and voluble characters at Euro 2008, gesturing and gesticulating wildly throughout matches. His coaching ability seems to be pretty good, too. Despite four suspensions and several injuries which left his team with only seven substitutes on Wednesday, Turkey’s play kept the Germans from settling into their game and made them vulnerable for long stretches at St Jakob Park. Only a 90th-minute goal from Germany defender Philipp Lahm kept the game from going to extra time.

“They took us off guard,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. Really, they just did what Terim wanted. “Our aim was to play well and prevent them from playing well, and we did this,” Terim said. “It’s not easy to stop Germany.”

Often standing far away from his seat on the bench, Terim is part football coach and part football fan, slapping his hands together after a missed chance, or pretending to dust off his white shirt after a pretty play. He even engages the people on the sidelines. He stopped to talk with a tournament worker while heading back onto the field after halftime, and then patted a ballgirl on the cheek.

But after three incredible comebacks and an almost-comeback against three-time champion Germany, it looks like it’s over for the former AC Milan and Fiorentina coach with the national football team. “I’m proud of my players and their desire,” said Terim, who took the team to their second semi-final appearance in as many major tournaments after reaching the same round at the 2002 World Cup.