The Ecuadorian Enner Valencia and the Argentine Mauro Icardi lead Fenerbahce and Galatasaray respectively, in a dispute that breaks historical records.
Photos: IG-ennervalencia1, IG-mauroicardi
LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
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The Turkish Super League continues despite the severe blow caused by the earthquake that occurred on February 6, 2023. Even clubs such as Hatayspor and Gaziantep FK decided to withdraw from the current season because their respective cities were greatly affected after the seism. However, the competition resumed and two of the most historic teams in the country revived the hard-fought dispute led by two South American players.
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Fenerbahce keeps the Turkish Super League alive, disputing the lead thanks to the goalscoring power of Ecuadorian Enner Valencia. For its part, Galatasaray maintains the lead thanks to the contribution of Argentine Mauro Icardi, to the point of breaking a historical record in the competition. The South Americans are having an excellent season that translates into a strong fight for the league title.
Enner Valencia and his devastating scoring record in Europe
The Qatar 2022 World Cup gave much more visibility to Enner Valencia, a 33-year-old Ecuadorian who managed to score three goals in that competition. Now, the goalscorer stands out for his performances with Fenerbahce in Turkey, where he has played more than 100 games and has scored 27 goals during the current season. Of those 27 goals, he has scored 11 in 2023, being the third player with the most scores this year in the world, only behind Montenegrin Dejan Damjanović with 12 goals for Chinese Kitchee SC and Costa Rican Johan Venegas with 11 goals in the LD Alajuelense of the same country.
Valencia has scored 23 goals in the Turkish Super League, one in the Turkish Cup and two goals in the UEFA Europa League. This scoring record places Enner Valencia in seventh position in the fight for the Golden Boot for the top scorer in Europe this season with 34.5 points. This table is led by Erling Haaland, Norwegian striker for England's Manchester City, with 28 goals that are equivalent to 56 points. On the other hand, in the Turkish Super League, the Ecuadorian is the top scorer in the competition, ahead of the Italian Fabio Borini and the Senegalese Mbaye Diagne, both from Fatih Karagümrük with 14 goals each. His scoring power keeps Fenerbahce in second position with 51 points, just nine points behind Galatasaray and one game less.
Mauro Icardi and Galatasaray's record in Turkey
The leader of the Turkish Super League is the historic Galatasaray thanks to a formidable teamwork where several players have scored important goals. However, the most decisive player is Mauro Icardi, who came on loan from French PSG and became the second most valuable Turkish Super League player on the market, behind only his Italian teammate Nicolò Zaniolo. However, the Argentine striker is Galatasaray's top scorer in the Turkish national championship with nine goals. Likewise, Icardi is the player with the most assists on the team, accumulating six goal passes.
Mauro Icardi's contribution helped Galatasaray break an influential and historical record in the Turkish Super League. Recently, "the lions" achieved 14 consecutive victories, beating the mark of 13 victories in a row that Besiktas had held since the 1959-1960 season. The signing of Mauro Icardi is proving very beneficial for Galatasaray, a club that seeks to end a long drought of almost four years without a league title.
There are twelve rounds left in the Turkish Super League in which the South Americans will be able to continue scoring goals for their teams and breaking individual and group records. For example, Valencia could become the first Ecuadorian in history to win the award for top scorer in a Turkish Super League season. For his part, Icardi could continue contributing to Galatasaray's current record of consecutive victories. Enner Valencia leading Fenerbahce and Mauro Icardi leading Galatasaray guarantee a hard-fought definition of the Turkish league championship.