The "Bull of the Bosphorus" was a top goal-scorer for his nation and in the Turkish Super Lig. He netted 258 goals in his 540-game club career.
He began his career with his local football club before turning professional at 17.
He came into his own as a player with the Galatasaray club, scoring 19 goals in 30 games during his first year.
He was born into a Kosovar Albanian family.
He turned to politics after retiring from soccer, much like Ukranian Andriy Shevchenko.