Rober Eryol

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Rober Eryol
Name Rober İsaac Eryol
Birthday 21. December 1930
Birthplace Mersin, Turkey
Date of death 21. December 2000
Place of death Maltepe, Istanbul, Turkey
Size 174 cm
Position Defense
Years Station
0000–1947 Galatasaray Istanbul
Years Station Games (goals)1
1947–1959 Galatasaray Istanbul 79 (1)
National team
Years Selection Games (goals)
1951–1953 Turkey A2 2 (0)
1953–1954 Turkey 9 (0)
1 Only league games are indicated.

Rober İsaac Eryol (born 21 December 1930 in Mersin; † 21 December 2000 in Maltepe, Istanbul) was a Turkish footballer. He is strongly associated with Galatasaray Istanbul due to his long association with that club. He was an important part of that team where he had a great impact on Turkish football in the 1950s with players such as Metin Oktay, Suat Mamat, İsfendiyar Açıksöz, Kadri Aytaç and Turgay Şeren.[1][2] He participated in the 1954 World Cup with the Turkish national team.


Eryol was born in 1930 to Jewish Turks in the southern Anatolian city of Mersin. During World War I, his grandfather was killed as a soldier in the Battle of Gallipoli. In 1937, the family moved to the Turkish cosmopolitan city of Istanbul and settled in the Beyoğlu district (also known as Pera ). Within this district, they moved to the Taksim neighborhood, where many minorities lived at the time. Here he graduated from the prestigious Saint Joseph High School in 1950.[3][4]



After his family moved to Istanbul in 1937, young Eryol started playing football on the streets here. After playing for several amateur clubs, several teams took notice and tried to sign him. Among those interested were two Istanbul clubs, Beyoğluspor and Taksim SK. However, since both teams were non-Muslim minority clubs and at that time their players also belonged to these minorities, Eryol turned down these offers. He always saw himself as a Turkish citizen and therefore chose to play for the youth of Beyoğlu’s local club, Galatasaray Istanbul, at the age of 16.[5]

In 1948, he was included in the squad by the then coach of the men’s team, Englishman Peter Molloy. At the time, Turkey did not have a national football league. Instead, there were regional leagues in metropolitan areas such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, of which the İstanbul Futbol Ligi (Engl: I stanbul Football League) was considered the most prestigious. In addition, starting in 1936, an attempt was made to establish a kind of national championship with the Türkiye Maarif Mükafatı, a national football league of Turkey designed as a tournament and held irregularly. Eryol made his debut for Galatasaray as an eighteen-year-old during the 28 March 1948 Istanbul Football League match against Beşiktaş Istanbul. In this match, Eryol played for the full length of the game. Eryol played one more match for his team until the end of the season on 5 June 1948. The following season, his team finished with the championship, with Eryol not playing a game. Eryol returned to game action in the 1949/50 season. He played two games and scored one goal. In the summer of 1950, Englishman Donald Lockhead took over as coach at Galatasaray. Under this coach Eryol came to more game appearances.

In 1952, the Istanbul Football League was transformed into a professional league called İstanbul Profesyonel Ligi (Eng: I stanbul Professional League). Most of the Istanbul teams participated in this league. Eryol participated in this league with Galatasaray and gained a regular place here. He played twelve of the 15 league games. The red-yellow team finished the season as runners-up behind Beşiktaş. They started the new season with Lockhead again, but this coach was replaced by former player legend and long-time captain of the club, Gündüz Kılıç, after matchday 4.[6][7] Kılıç had ended his football career at the end of the previous season and subsequently took up the coaching position with the club’s reserve team.[8][9] Under his captaincy in the previous season, Eryol retained his regular place and featured in 16 of the 18 league matches.

After missing out on the championship in the 1952/53 season, Kılıç was replaced by Hungarian coach László Székely. Even under this coach, Eryol remained an undisputed regular and advanced to become one of the best right-backs in the league. The youngster came to the attention of the Turkish national team’s coach at the time, the Italian Sandro Puppo, who called him up for a test match against the Swiss national team.[10] Székely was replaced by his predecessor Gündüz Kılıç after the 10th matchday of the 1953/54 season. Under Kılıç, Eryol consolidated his position of left-back and advanced to become one of the best players left-backs in the league. Galatasaray missed out on the championship at the end of the 1953/54 season, finishing runners-up again behind Beşiktaş. In the next season, the 1954/55 season, Galatasaray ended the season with the championship of the Istanbul Professional League for the first time. While Eryol was used regularly in the 1954/55 season, he was mostly on the substitutes’ bench in the 1955/56 season, partly due to his military service, and played six league games.[11] He was undergoing officer training and so remained away from team action for longer than other players who had to complete regular military service. He had to travel from Balıkesir for the weekend and thus missed much of the training.[12][13] After also spending the following season receiving little consideration in squad selection due to his absence, he decided to end his active footballing career in October 1956 at the age of 26.[14][15]

National team

Eryol was already nominated for the second selection of the Turkish national team in 1951 and made his debut here against the second selection of France on 1 November 1951.

After performing well at left-back for his club Galatasaray in 1953, national coach Sandro Puppo called him up for a test match against the Swiss national team on 25 May 1953, during which Eryol made his international debut for the senior team. From then on, he was a regular starter for the national team for two years.

He was also named in Turkey’s squad for the 1954 World Cup. At the end of the group stage, Turkey finished second, level on points with Germany. Although they had the better goal difference, according to the rules of the time, the group runners-up were decided by a deciding match between these two teams. Germany won that match 7-2.[16] Eryol played all six of his team’s matches during this tournament. After the World Cup, Eryol found no further consideration in the national team.

In addition to playing for the regular national team, he also played a few times for the Turkish national military team.[17] With this team he became military world champion in 1955.

Coaching career

After his playing career ended, Eryol worked as an officer in the Turkish Armed Forces. In 1961, he ended his military career and often stayed in Israel. Here he took up coaching at Maccabi Tel Aviv.[18] After this first coaching experience, he did not continue to work as a coach. For a while he was a club official at Galatasaray.[19]


Eryol died on 21 December 2000 in the Maltepe district of Istanbul.


With Galatasaray Istanbul
  • İstanbul Futbol Ligi Champions: 1948/49
  • Champion of the İstanbul Profesyonel Ligi: 1954/55, 1955/56
With the Turkish National Team
  • Participants in the World Championship: 1954
With the Turkish National Military Team
  • World Military Champion: 1955


  • During an international match against the Syrian national football team, Eryol traveled to Syria with the Turkish national team. As he was of Jewish faith, he was refused entry. As a result, the Turkish selection threatened him with immediate return and thus obtained Eryol’s entry.[5]
  • Eryol adopted the surname Serf in addition to his Turkish surname while in Israel.

Web links

Individual references

  1. [ of December 16, 2014 on the Internet Archive) “[SERBEST VURUŞ] Kadri Aytaç’ları hatırlamak”] (retrieved 2 February 2013)
  2. “Üzgünüm gidenler için/2” (retrieved 1 December 2012)
  3. 29. June 1956, Milliyet, p. 6.
  4. “1950 Mezunlarımız”(Memento of the Originals july 4, 2011 on the Internet Archive) Info:The archive linkwas automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this note.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/ (retrieved April 29, 2013)
  5. a b the other football (retrieved 29 April 2013)
  6. 16. October 1952, Milliyet, p. 5.
  7. 23. October 1952, Milliyet, p. 5.
  8. 21. May 1952, Milliyet, p. 5.
  9. 5. August 1952, Milliyet, p. 5.
  10. Match Report Switzerland-Turkey B on 25 May 1953 in
  11. 30. March 1955, Milliyet, p. 8.
  12. 22. October 1955, Milliyet, p. 6.
  13. 25. October 1955, Milliyet, p. 6.
  14. 9. October 1956, Milliyet, p. 6.
  15. 13. October 1956, Milliyet, p. 6.
  16. “Match Report: Germany-Turkey” of 23 June 1954 in
  17. 20. March 1956, Milliyet, p. 6.
  18. 6. April 1961, Milliyet, p. 6.
  19. 11. July 1970, Milliyet, p. 12.