Fenerbahçe fans honored Brazilian playmaker and team captain Alex de Souza, who has played for Fenerbahçe since 2004, on Saturday with the erection of a statue in İstanbul's Kadıköy district.
Fans shelled out TL 32,000 to honor the team's captain, who is considered one of the best foreign players that has ever played for the Turkish side and has ever graced the pitch at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, a holy place for fans.
The ceremony saw Fenerbahçe fans praise the significant contributions the Brazilian has made to the team, having scored and assisted with more than 100 goals since he joined. He was selected best player last year by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).
Along with Alex, team coach Aykut Kocaman, executive manager Hasan Çetinkaya and Ömer Temelli, a member of the executive board, also attended the ceremony. The Brazilian broke down in tears while making a speech to the crowd. As fans chanted slogans, Alex thanked the many people who played a key role in his decision to come to Turkey to play for Fenerbahçe.
“I want to express my gratitude to my wife, Dianne. Without her it would be almost impossible to live in another country outside of Brazil. I want to thank Hakan Bilal Kutlualp, who is no longer with the administration of the club, for his role in my decision to come here,” the Fenerbahçe captain said.
Team coach Kocaman gave a hug to the Brazilian playmaker during the ceremony. There has been a palpable tension between the two over the past several months.