Besiktas coach Jean Tigana announced after his team won the Fortis Turkish Cup on Wednesday night that he will be quitting the Istanbul club at the end of the current season — which is in just over two weeks’ time.
“When I came in 2005 the team [Besiktas] was aging and lethargic,” he said in a post-match press conference in Izmir. “My aim was to rebuild the team and bring young players into the fold and I think I succeeded in doing that, so it’s high time for me to go.”
He went on: “I talked to Chairman [Yildirim Demirören] this evening and I thanked him for all the support. I have won three cups (including the Super Cup) for Besiktas. I don’t know if that’s enough, but I think it’s OK. In the league, we are trailing [leader] Fenerbahçe and ahead of Galatasaray. Maybe it’s not so bad after all.”
Tigana let the cat out of the bag last week when he said he was not sure he was going to continue with the Besiktas Black Eagles next season. That remark might have demoralized the Besiktas players before the Istanbul derby against archrival Fenerbahçe last Saturday and could have played a big role in the 1-0 home defeat that badly shattered their title hopes.
The Frenchman started his professional career as a player at Toulon, having been spotted fairly late playing part-time while employed in a spaghetti factory and then as a postman. He moved to Lyon in 1978 and then to Bordeaux in a 4 million pound transfer. He was part of the French national team that won the European Championship in 1984, defeating Spain in the final.
Most recently he took Fulham of London from the Football League First Division to the English Premiership, and later the UEFA Cup (via the Intertoto Cup), but was sacked in March 2003. The club later took him to court, claiming he had wrongly overpaid certain players such as Steve Marlet, but the charges were dropped.
Tigana is well-known for his near-addictive consumption of toothpicks when on the bench. He once said the he had started using toothpicks at a very young age, in order to quit smoking.