Dele Alli’s Turkish welcome has nothing on Vassell’s ‘rock star’ treatment

Dele Alli was given an astonishing reception by Besiktas fans when he landed in Turkey – but the former Tottenham playmaker isn’t the first Englishman to be greeted in such a way.

When former Manchester City striker City Darius Vassell joined Turkish outfit Ankaragucu, he was greeted by a huge fervent crowd.

The former England attacker explained in his autobiography 'The Road to Persia'. "My agent came to me with the option of joining a club in Turkey," Vassell revealed. "He said that a Super Lig club called Ankaraspor were interested in me.

READ MORE: Players you forgot played in Turkey as Dele Alli moves – Darius Vassell to Chelsea flop

"I asked if he was sure it was them and he corrected himself and said it was actually Ankaragucu who wanted me. They were even more obscure! Their club website didn’t seem to be official and I felt I must have been looking at the wrong page, but no matter how much I searched for something else, it was their site all right. I got my head around everything and decided it was worth flying out to meet them and take a look."

When he got there, Vassell was greeted by thousands of Ankaragucu fans – all chanting, holding flags and banners, and if that wasn’t enough, they even let off flares at the city's airport.

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It was a fair bit of fanfare for a striker who wasn’t even a player for the side yet and had only gone out there for talks.

"I simply wasn’t ready for the welcome I received at Ankara Esenboga Airport," he wrote "There were thousands of supporters there to greet me, with flags, shirts and they made such a noise; I was totally taken aback, I’d never experienced anything like this before.”

And Alli was given a similar reception after falling short at Goodison Park. At Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Wednesday, hundreds of supporters flocked to greet their new signing.

They chanted Besiktas songs as they waited for his arrival. And then when he did make an appearance, they made him feel right at home.


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