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Yusuf Yazıcı
UNDP Turkey No Poverty Advocate

 

Yusuf Yazıcı (born 29 January 1997) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Lille OSC and the Turkey National Football Team.

His grandmother, who is the most significant figure of his life, is a huge football fan and she is the one who inspiredYusuf to become a football player. First, he was a ball boy for Trabzonspor. Fans used to describe him as the ”tiny child who takes it so serious”.  At the age of 15, Yusuf Yazıcı was the captain of the Trabzon Erdoğdu Anatolian High School that made history by winning the championship title  in the World Schools Championship Football 2015, held in Guatemala. 

An academy graduate of Trabzonspor, he made his senior debut in December 2015, aged 15, and made over 80 league appearances for the club. With his success at Trabzonspor and the Turkish National Team, he quickly caught the attention of the footballing world. In 2019, At the age of 22, Lille paid  16.5 million euros  for Yusuf Yazıcı,the highest-paid transfer of Trabzonspor.

Yusuf had a severe injury in his first season at Lille. His comeback was a successful one! He became the first LOSC player to net a European hat-trick, and not once but twice - also becoming the first player ever who scored two hat tricks on the group stage (against Sparta Prag and Milan.) He is the first player to score an away hat-trick against AC Milan in all competitions since Rivaldo in October 2000 for Barcelona and the first Turkish player ever who scored more than 5 goals in European cups within one season since 2013. 

With his exceptional performance, he became the first Turkish player who hit the headlines of world-wide French sports newspaper L’ Equipe. 

UNDP Turkey held an online appointment ceremony and press conference on 27 April, 2021 to announce Yusuf Yazıcı as the Advocate for Global Goal 1 “No Poverty”. 

Expressing that the new mission made him proud and happy, national football star Yusuf Yazıcı said: “Setting out on this journey, my goal is not to assist people in poverty, but contribute to finding ways to eradicate it. In my opinion, tackling poverty is not some charity, it is an all-out effort to build justice and peace across the world. I am so excited for the opportunity to combine my personal experience with the knowledge and means of UNDP in this field. I am all ready to do my best.”