Soccer

Meet Turkey’s villain at Euro 2020 with history of arrests and Instagram DMs

Luka Modric could make a good claim to have scored the goal of the tournament at the 2016 Euros in France; the ball dropped to the future Balon d'Or winner, and he let fly on the volley.

It nestled into the back-of-the-net, and Croatia ran out one goal winners – however, when the replay was shown, as pundits marvelled at Modric, Turkish fans spotted something a little different.

Ozan Tufan, then 21 years old, was lethargically jogging out of the penalty box towards Modric when he turned to the side to fix his hair.

In an instant, a villain was born, and he was blasted on social media.

And like most modern footballers, Tufan had his own social media, however, he didn't use it to respond to the trolls, rather to chase girls.

The Turkish fans even had a chant for the Fenerbahce midfielder when he completed his redemption arc in their final game of Euro 2016.

Tufan bagged Turkey's second of the afternoon against Czechia, and the Turkish fans sang: "Tufan's on fire, Czech girls are terrified," because it was 2016, and Will Grigg was at the height of his popularity.

His social media escapades became so famous the midfielder changed his car number plate to the words "DM."

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However, one year on for the Euros, he was back in hot water.

The Istanbul police force arrested the Fenerbahce star, and they questioned him about the illegal smuggling of luxury cars into Turkey.

It was alleged that Tufan had purchased a second-hand car that had been smuggled in illegally, and Tufan – in turn – told police that he did not know it was smuggled into the country.

Tufan was later released.

And his career hasn't fared any better on the pitch; Tufan has repeatedly been frozen out of sides, and he once went a stretch of 13 months without kicking a ball.

But he's a precious talent, and it was hoped that Turkey could one day build a side around him.

It's that talent that has attracted interest from Manchester United and Liverpool; he's also drawn comparisons to Yaya Toure for his box-to-box energy.

A move to Crystal Palace fell through in January after Fenerbahce decided they didn't want to sell him.

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Turkey go into the Euros with high hopes, and in 2016 they failed to make it out of the group stages, however, with Tufan linking up with Hakan Calhanoglu in the midfield, they have an exciting side.

Their ace in the pack is Burak Yilmaz, who fired Lille to Ligue 1 glory last campaign.

READ MORE: Euro 2020 wallchart: Download your FREE printable chart as home nations go for glory

READ MORE: Croatia players to refuse to take the knee ahead of England game at Euro 2020

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