• Turkey appoint Mircea Lucescu as new national team coach
  • Romanian replaces Fatih Terim who left role last week
  • Turkey occupy third in Group I on road to Russia 2018

Mircea Lucescu has been appointed as the new Turkey national team coach, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) announced on Wednesday.

The Romanian, who was previously at Russian Premier League side Zenit Saint Petersburg, replaces former manager Fatih Terim. 

The TFF announced last Wednesday that they had parted ways with Terim in a statement which said: "Some non-football issues have been wearing out our football director Fatih Terim and the management of Turkish football federation. The two sides agreed that it would be more healthy for both parties to part ways."

As a coach, Lucescu - who captained Romania at the FIFA World Cup™ Mexico 1970 - is perhaps best known for his 12-year spell in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk, where he claimed eight Ukrainian Premier League titles and the 2009 UEFA Cup. Lucescu also experienced success as a coach in Turkey, winning the Turkish Super Lig and 2000 UEFA Super Cup with Galatasaray, while also tasting domestic league success with Besiktas.  

The 72-year-old takes charge of a Turkey side who have won four of their last five games and currently occupy third spot in Group I on the road to Russia 2018 behind leaders Croatia and second-placed Iceland.

The Crescent-Stars face a crucial double-header in September's qualifying matches, first travelling to fourth-placed Ukraine, who they pip only on goal difference, before hosting table-toppers Croatia three days later.