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Turkish star Yilmaz retires from international football after penalty miss

DaMarcus Beasley tells Pro Soccer Talk what he thinks the USMNT is capable of ahead of and during the 2022 FIFA World Cup and reflects on his pro career.

Say it ain’t so, Burak.

While it’s no surprise when a 36-year-old footballer retires from international football, it’ll be a real shame if living Turkish legend Burak Yilmaz calls it a day on his national team career following a heart-wrenching penalty miss on Thursday.

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Yilmaz, 36, sent an 85th-minute penalty off and over the bar in Turkey’s World Cup qualifying playoff against Portugal, a tie that could’ve gone to 2-2 and instead finished 3-1 when Matheus Nunes scored in stoppage time.

And so it’ll be a fifth-consecutive World Cup since Turkey’s second appearance, which ended with a surprising third-place finish in 2002.

It’s too much for Yilmaz to handle, he said. He’s done. From the BBC:

“If I had scored, it would have been difficult for Portugal. I missed, but why? I’m in shock as well,” Yilmaz said. “I would like to cut to the point. Today was my last match with the national team. There needs to be a change. It is a final decision stripped of emotions, one that is taken rationally. This change needs to happen.”

Yilmaz, who is also leaving Lille at season’s end, would retire with the second-most goals in Turkish history. Only Hakan Sukur, a star of the 2002 World Cup, has more than Yilmaz’s 31 in 77 caps.

He won Ligue 1 with Lille and has a pair of Turkish Super Lig titles with Galatasaray, also winning the Turkish Cup with three clubs.

Follow @NicholasMendola