Burak Yilmaz

Burak Yilmaz

Burak Yilmaz

Team: Beijing Guoan

Age: 31

Position: Striker

Nationality: Turkey

Former team: Galatasaray

Burak Yilmaz is one of a select group to have played for all the three big clubs in Turkey but, it was at Galatasaray he had the most success.

He started his career with his hometown club Antalyaspor. He played 70 matches for them between 2002 and 2006, helped them gain promotion to the Süper Lig in 2005-06 as he scored 9 goals in the last 24 matches of the season.

His good last half of the season saw him sold to powerhouse Besiktas. He struggled at the big club and only scored five times in 30 appearances in the 2006-07 season. An even worse start to the 07-08 season saw Yilmaz transferred to Manisaspor in January. Here, he found his form again, scoring nine times in 16 games.

This resurgence of form saw him once again brought back into the fold of a big club. This time Fenerbache came calling in the summer of 2008.

But his time at Fenerbache was even more disappointing as in a season and a half for The Yellow Canaries he only featured six times.

He spent the first half of the 2009-10 season out on loan at fellow Süper Lig side Eskisehirspor, where he did reasonably well.

His miserable time at Fenerbache finally came to an end in February 2010 when up-and-coming club Trabzonspor took him off their hands.

His first full season at Trabzon was a success as he scored 19 goals, with Trabzonspor missing out on the title to Fenerbache by virtue of goal difference.

The following season was even better as Yilmaz scored a ridiculous 32 goals in 30 matches as Trabzonspor finished third.

His great season did not go unnoticed and in the summer of 2012 Yilmaz once again found himself on the move to Istanbul as Galatasaray wanted his services. Third time lucky, perhaps?

It certainly was as Yilmaz finally made it at one of Turkey’s big clubs. He scored 24 times in the league as The Yellow-Reds won the league. He also scored eight goals in nine matches as Galatasaray reached the quarter-final of the Champions League where they were knocked out 5-3 on aggregate by Real Madrid.

He kept on scoring goals at Galatasaray and in February last year Beijing Guoan came in for him in an €8 million deal.

The Turkish International arrived in Beijing with a promise of goals, having been a consistent scorer at his last two clubs both at home and in Europe. Even though his first season was a little hampered by injury Yilmaz still managed 11 goals in 17 games.

This season he has scored four goals in three matches, including both goals in Beijing’s 2-1 victory in the China Derby against Shanghai Shenhua this weekend. If Yilmaz can stay injury free he should easily be able to reach 20-25 goals this season and perhaps make Beijing outside title-contenders.

About the Author

Ola Bjerkevoll
Norwegian studying sports journalism in England. Lover of all football, especially Chinese, German and Oceanian. Twitter: @olabje