Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü was established in Istanbul in 1907. The club is named after a neighbourhood in the city and the football team is part of a larger sports club, which competes in several sports, including boxing, swimming and rowing. The team was founded in secret, due to the Ottoman rulers outlawing football at the time. Historically, Fenerbahçe have been one of Turkey's most dominant sides. Their main rivals are Galatasaray, with a secondary rivalry existing with Beşiktaş.
In 1959, Fenerbahçe became the first ever national champions of Turkey. The Milli Lig was created by the Turkish Football Federation that year, with sixteen teams being divided into two groups. The winners of the two groups were Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray. The championship final was played between the two teams, over two legs, with Galatasaray emerging from the first leg with a 1-0 lead. However, in the second leg, Fenerbahçe overturned the deficit, winning the match 4-0 and the final 4-1 on aggregate.
Over the years, Fenerbahçe have achieved huge levels of domestic success, winning the Süper Lig or its previous equivalents a total of eighteen times. In addition, the club has amassed five Turkish Cups and eight Turkish Super Cups. Fenerbahçe have been regulars in continental competitions over the years, including the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup. Their best performance to date was a quarter-final appearance in the Champions League in 2007–2008.
Some of the more notable players to represent the team over the years include names like Zeki Rıza Sporel, Miço, Rüştü Reçber, Alex and Emre Belözoğlu.
Fenerbahçe play their home matches at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, which was originally constructed back in 1908. The ground is named after a former Fenerbahçe chairman and underwent significant renovations between 1999 and 2006. It is currently able to hold a maximum of 50,509 spectators.