Kazim happy with rise

Kazim happy with rise
Colin Kazim-Richards is happy with his stunning rise from the lower leagues in England to the Euro semi-finals.

Kazim-Richards was a key member of the Turkey squad which reached the last four of the Euros for the first time in their history in Austria and Switzerland, appearing in all five of their matches.

One of his best performances was reserved for Wednesday's semi-final against Germany, where the London-born forward flourished in a makeshift Turkey line-up shorn of a host of players through injury and suspension.

Not only did he hit the crossbar twice but he also gave the highly-rated German full-back Philipp Lahm a torrid time down the right wing.

Few would have predicted such a rise to prominence for Kazim-Richards while he was plying his trade in various English divisions with Bury, Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United before switching to Fenerbahce in 2007, but the 21-year-old insists all those people who wrote him off only inspired him to get better.

"I pray to God that my career can keep going the way it's going," he said following the semi-final against Germany, which Turkey lost 3-2 following Lahm's dramatic 90th-minute winner.

"I think I've proved a lot of people wrong and I just hope that the people who keep doubting me, keep doubting me, because it motivates you.

"I hope that everyone isn't satisfied (with me) because I don't call them haters like some people do, I call them motivators. They motivate me to do well and keep proving people wrong.

"Look at someone who said to me two years ago that I will never be anything, but look at me now, I personally think I had a good game in the semi-finals of Euro 2008 against Germany, who can possibly go on to win the tournament."

Turkey's next major assignment will be the World Cup qualifiers. They begin their Group 5 campaign away to Armenia on September 6.

Kazim-Richards revealed the Turkish players had already turned their thoughts to those World Cup matches not long after the final whistle against Germany.

When asked about the belief in the camp, he said: "The belief is unbelievable even though we lost, and we were just saying that we can take this experience into the World Cup qualifiers, we are already talking about the World Cup now."

While Turkey's future looks bright, it also looks likely to be without the guiding hand of coach Fatih Terim who will now return to club management.

The former AC Milan and Galatasaray boss - nicknamed 'The Emperor' in Turkey - feels his players should hold their heads up high for what they achieved in the tournament, and in particular against Germany,

"I said I was proud of them, told them not to feel bad," said the 54-year-old.

"Yes, of course it's the end of the tournament, we are at day 47 with them and it's not easy to be together and have discipline when everybody else is on holiday.

"These players have been here to serve their country, what they did was impressive and I wished them a lot of success for future."