After netting 11 goals in 51 appearances for Altınordu in Turkey, Ünder made the switch to İstanbul Başakşehir in 2016. In just one year, the club continued their rapid progress, narrowly missing out on a shock title success, with the Sındırgı-born winger scoring seven times as Başakşehir finished second in the Süper Lig.
A debut goal for Turkey
Ünder marked his full debut for the Crescent-Stars with a goal as Turkey defeated Moldova 3-1 in an international friendly on Monday 27 March, 2017. Speculation was mounting that the talented winger was set to complete a transfer to one of European football’s biggest clubs, with several locations touted in the media.
Heading to Italy
A move to Roma in Serie A eventually materialised for Ünder who, after acclimatising to a new country, enjoyed a hot run of five goals in four games after the New Year in 2017/18, as the Italian giants made a bid to win the club’s fourth title.
An instant impact in Europe
That run of goals also included a maiden strike in the UEFA Champions League during his debut in European football’s platinum club competition. That feat made him the youngest Turkish player to ever score in the Champions League and, while Roma lost out 2-1 in the first leg of a Round of 16 tie against Shakhtar, they were ultimately successful over two legs.
Despite losing the first leg 4-1 at the Camp Nou in the Champions League Quarter-Finals, Ünder and his Roma team-mates completed one of the most memorable European comebacks in recent times, winning the second encounter 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico to set up a last-four encounter with Liverpool.
Roma had another mountain to climb in the second leg of the semi-finals – following a 5-2 reverse at Anfield – but they so nearly scaled those heights after beating the Reds 4-2 back in Rome. Ünder’s arrival from the bench helped the home side score two late goals through Radja Nainggolan, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 7-6 aggregate defeat.
A fine first season
Ünder’s first season in Italy ended with a third-placed finish in Serie A as the Turkey international found the net on eight occasions, including on the penultimate day of the season in a 1-0 success over Cagliari at Sardegna Arena.
More goals in Europe
His goalscoring record in the Champions League continued into the 2018/19 season as efforts against Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow helped Roma advance from a group which also included Real Madrid.
Ünder’s achievements weren’t limited to club football. Following a productive 2018/19 season for Roma, the expressive winger scored his country’s second goal during a remarkable 2-0 victory over world champions France on 8 June, 2019 to help the Crescent-Stars qualify for UEFA EURO 2020.
Signing off in Rome
During the elongated 2019/20 campaign, Roma entered a period of change as Paulo Fonseca replaced Claudio Ranieri at Stadio Olimpico. Nevertheless, Ünder remained an attacking threat for I Giallorossi and netted his final of 17 goals for the club in a 3-0 victory over Lecce in February 2020.