Why Quaresma should stay another year

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Updated: June 24, 2017

As I wrote in my last piece “Ricardo Quaresma, mission complete?”, Beşiktaş have received a lucrative offers from China for their Portuguese wizard.

I wanted to point out in my last article that Quaresma’s mission might be complete at Beşiktaş, he’s come back and he’s won two consecutive titles with the Black Ealges. Best to leave on a high, right? Atleast that was and still is my point.

However, there is also another thing to consider here and that’s Quaresma’s personal ambitions. What does he still want to get out of his career? Quaresma will be turning 34 at the end of September and therefore one could say he is in the Twilight of his career. That however does not mean that he has nothing to offer anymore, on the contrary. If anything Quaresma proved these past months that he is an instrumental part of the team, with his 17 assists he contributed greatly to both the title and the European success Beşiktaş has had this season. In fact, he was much more instrumental this past season than he had been during the 2015/16 season. Quaresma is like a good wine and seems to get only better with age.

Having said that, much of my article was aimed at his volatile character, his passion which drives him to be the great player he is has also time and time again had a detrimental effect on his relationship with coaches. That is something I don’t want to see happen with him and Şenol Güneş.

So I argued, it might be time for him to leave, on a high to be forever remembered as an icon, a legend. But Quaresma himself doesn’t think it’s time to leave yet, he has another big goal in his career: the 2018 World Cup in Russia. And for him to achieve that dream he feels he needs to stay in Europe for atleast another season. And that should be the end of that, if he’s going to stay it should be with Beşiktaş.

It seems there are some fans who feel differently about it though, they feel that Quaresma should take the money from China which in turn would grant the club a nice chunk of change (rumoured €7m transfer fee). But to those fans I ask, what’s the rush? If the Chinese are willing to pay that for a 33-near 34 year old Quaresma they’ll be willing to pay it for a near 35 year old Quaresma aswell, add on top of that if he has a decent World Cup it could even increase his market value (not to mention a good run in the Champions League with Beşiktaş).

I’m not particularly opposed to selling him, nor am I opposed to him staying. My heart says, keep him another year but my mind says take the money. But what people need to realize is that the player has the final decision.

Quaresma has a contract until 2020, there is plenty of time to still get a stellar fee from China for him. There really is no rush. Do we need money to conduct transfers? Sure, but if you sell Quaresma you need to replace him aswell. A player as capable as him at delivering pinpoint crosses won’t be cheap, Jeremain Lens is an option but his transfer fee would already take away a huge chunk of what you received for Quaresma, of course he’s younger, but if you’re wanting to sell him just so we can afford Aboubakar? It won’t be enough anyway, you’ll spent most of it on his replacement alone.

Rant…

Some “fans” have written some nasty and frankly stupid comments on social media (mainly Facebook) about this subject. Things like “he crosses 16576845 time sper match, of course he’s going to get an assist or two”, I honestly wonder how old those pepole are and how much they watch football. Do they think Kevin De Bruyne gets an assist on every cross he makes? On ever third cross? There is a reason that Quaresma has the most successful crosses completed these past TWO seasons, eventhough he only played 2/3rd of the games in the 2015/16 season, and even at Porto the year before, while often starting from the bench he still was the most accurate crosser in the Portuguese league. Quaresma is on another level when it comes to crossing, he’s absolutely world class, there are very few better than him. Does that mean every cross is a success? Of course not. Also many of his successful crosses were wasted by poor finishes, or simply goalkeepers saving the attacker’s efforts. This will come off a little bit as a rant and it kind of is, but I hope that those of you reading this don’t allow your judgement to be clouded by these t ypes of stupid statements made by low football IQ “fans”.

It’s funny how, now that the season is over, all of a sudden Quaresma is “too old”. Where were those people during the season when he was giving assist after assist? Has he played perfect in ever game, of course not. Who does? Not even Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are that consistent. But he’s had a great season, he had a Great EURO 2016 too and I’m sure he’ll have a great 2017/18 season aswell. Am I fan? Of course. Do I look past all his faults? No, I don’t, I critisize him when he acts like a dumbass like in the match against Bursaspor where he flirted with a red card. He’s always going to have that, it’s part of his volatile personality, but that has nothing to do with age, that’s an issue he’s always had and always will have. In fact, it’s probably toned down a lot as he got older.

As long as a player can go and can do so for 40+ games per season, what does his age really matter? I’d argue physically Quaresma is in a much better condition than Wesley Sneijder is, is Sneijder over the hill? Of course not, but he struggles a lot more with playing 40-50 games per season than Quaresma does. So what issue is his age really? Is it his sell on value? Again, if the Chinese are willing to pay for a near-34 year old Quaresma, they’ll be willing to do the same for a near-35 year old Quaresma, again that’s not a valid argument.

So finally then comes the argument of “we need the money”, we need money, but we’re not going to get €15m for Quaresma, the Chinese are crazy but not that crazy. For €7m we can not replace Quaresma AND buy Aboubakar (or another striker), so again that argument is rendered moot.

As long as Quaresma is motivated and fit, he will always deliver over the course of an entire season. His goal is to go to the 2018 World Cup, so he’s going to be extremely motivated to show his worth, he doesn’t just want to go to Russia to sit on the bench, he wants to play. So he’ll give his all during the next months to earn that spot, who can honestly be against that?

 

For those of you who would like to give your opinions, please respond in the comment section below!

Kaan Bayazit
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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
I've been covering Turkish football and Beşiktaş in particular for several years. Followed the Süper Lig closely for over a decade. Frequent guest on the Turkish Football Weekly podcast. I've also done various media interviews concerning Beşiktaş in many different countries, from Costa Rica to The Netherlands. Born and raised in Belgium. Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International since 2013.
Kaan Bayazit
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  • Jerry Cooke

    Although my personal preference would be for him to stay for at least 1 more season, I wouldn’t be so sure the big money from China will last much longer, Next seasons Chinese Super League requirements for loss making clubs to pay100% tax on transfer fees, reduced foreign player allocations, + the need to play an under 23 Chinese player for every foreigner on the pitch. Suggest the CSL is very serious about stamping out the mega deals currently being currently offered to bring in foreign talent sooner rather than later.