Trabzonspor legend Necmi Perekli has confessed that he was never as gifted as the club’s present fans’ favourite Anthony Nwakaeme.
Perekli featured for Trabzonspor in the late 1970s and rose to hero status after scoring 18 goals in 22 appearances in the 1976-77 season to power the Black Sea Storm to the Turkish league title.
The veteran striker was the first Trabzonspor player to finish the Turkish elite division as the top goal scorer.
Perekli scored four of those 18 goals in the first four games of that season, a record that stood untouched for 44 years until Nwakaeme matched it at the weekend.
The Nigerian star grabbed the equaliser in his side’s 2-2 draw at home to Galatasaray, adding it to his strikes against Yeni Malatyaspor, Sivasspor, and Giresunspor.
And 73-year-old Perekli is backing the younger attacker to find the back of the net in the next Super Lig clash and break his long-standing record.
“I am tired of carrying this for 42 years; I need to rest; I pray that he will score three goals and pass me,” the former striker said as per Haber61.
“I’m tired of carrying him; let him pass me now, let the weight be on his shoulders. Nwakaeme is a special player to be celebrated and congratulated.”
Perekli revealed that when compared to Nwakaeme, the Nigerian forward is more talented, contributing more to team play.
And to fans who have constantly asked him, “Nwakaeme or you?” Perekli responded: “I say, Nwakaeme. I was scoring goals, the man both scores and assists.
“He has more features than me, so he’s better. He is much more talented in terms of talent, but he needs to catch this number as well.”
Meanwhile, Perekli is not the only one impressed with the ability and output of Nwakaeme. Galatasaray star Emre Kılınç is confident that Trabzonspor avoided defeat at the Medical Park Stadium on Sunday because Nwakaeme was unstoppable.
Kılınç scored twice to hand the visitors a two-goal lead in the first half before the Nwakaeme show began, and the Croatian forward is convinced that the Nigerian is one of the Super Lig’s best forwards.
“Nwakaeme is one of the best wingers in the league,” Kılınç said.
“We helped our teammates in that (defensive) area. We had to help out there. But he still scored a goal.”
Nwakaeme will surpass Perekli’s 44-year record if he manages to hit the target against Kasimpasa on September 18.