Forgotten man-turned-Turkish hero Darius Vassell continued his remarkable run of popularity in his new home today, as it was announced that he would take over as President of Turkey as of Monday.
Outgoing leader Abdullah Gul offered his resignation to the government this morning after an estimated 45 million of Turkey's 71 million citizens signed a petition calling for the striker - who was greeted as a hero when he arrived at Ankaragucu this week - to be given the top job. 'I felt I was a good President,' said Gul in a brief statement, 'but I will not stand in the way of a man like Vassell. Our country is lucky to have him.'
Some in England were surprised when Vassell - discarded by deluded money-bags outfit Manchester City - received an uproarious welcome in the Turkish capital earlier on Wednesday. The former England marksman, however, seemed undaunted by the high levels of expectation, which will now reach fever pitch as he runs a country for the first time in his career.
'The fans have made me very welcome here,' said the one-time Aston Villa poacher, 'and obviously it's great to get such a big vote of confidence so early on.'
Vassell added that he was looking forward to attending his first training session with his new team-mates, and to finding ways to ease tensions between the Christian and Muslim presences in Turkey.