“There were moments when I would return home crying”: Cenk Özkaçar on the start of his career

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In an interview with Goal Turkey, Lyon defender Cenk Özkaçar (21) discussed the difficulties he faced in the early stages of his career.

Having arrived in Lyon in the summer of 2020, the Turkish defender has only managed a single appearance with the club, in the Coupe de France. “My dream was to come to Europe,” he said, before mentioning that fellow Turks “Burak Yilmaz, Yusuf Yazici and Mehmet Zeki Celik helped me when I arrived in France.”

Since last summer, he has been on loan to Leuven in Belgium, where he has been a regular starter, making 25 appearances this season and adding two goals. “At Leuven, the conditions are just right for me to be able to improve. We have great trainers and friends. Honestly, I’m benefiting from the present situation.”

Özkaçar explained that “Lyon have expectations for me. So they asked me to play more,” in the hope that he may return and break into the Lyon starting XI.

He also spoke about his experiences in Turkey, where he had not been kept on following an injury. “Of course, there were moments when I thought of stopping or when I felt desparate, but I’ll never forget the support of my family. I vividly remember that I would return home crying. But it was one of my turning points when my family said to me ‘we don’t love you because you’re a footballer but because you’re a good son.”

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