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The “Crescent Stars” will participate in the 5th European Championship in its history this summer. Although they did not play in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, they intend to make up for it at Euro 2020. Will the Turkish team live up to everyone’s expectations?
- 🔎 Euro 2020: Turkey in a nutshell
- 👥 Turkey’s Euro 2020-2021 Lineup
- 🗓️ Turkey’s Match Schedule (Group A)
- 🏃 Turkey’s Euro Preparation
- ⭐ The Star Player at Euro 2020: Burak Yilmaz
- 👟 The Player to Watch at Euro 2020: Yusuf Yazici
- 📚 Turkey’s Stats and History at the Euro
- 🥊 Turkey’s Main Opponents at Euro 2020
🔎 Euro 2020: Turkey in a nutshell
Positioned as one of the main underdogs in the competition, Turkey now has what it calls a “golden generation”. Indeed, many young talents make up the Turkish squad. They will certainly want to take advantage of this to shine in the competition in June.
Having finished in second place in their qualifying group (H, which was also France’s), Turkey had a virtually flawless run, losing only once. Moreover, they could rely on an impregnable defence, the joint-strongest of the qualifiers (3 goals conceded, equal to Belgium).
Despite a much less successful Nations League in which they finished in the last place in Group 3 of League B, the Turkish players will want to prove at all costs that the high hopes placed on them are not misplaced.
👥 Turkey’s Euro 2020-2021 Lineup
For their first international competition since Euro 2016 in France, Turkey will be able to count on a high-quality squad. With players playing in some of Europe’s top leagues, they will be one of the great teams to watch at this tournament.
Turkey’s 26-man Squad
During the Euro, Şenol Güneş, the Turkish team’s manager, will be able to rely on both the indispensable experience of its established players and its brilliant young talent.
Among the latter is Liverpool centre-back Ozan Kabak, recruited this winter by the Reds to make up for injuries to both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Another young talent from the Turkish reservoir, Yusuf Yazici, the attacking midfielder from Lille OSC, is having a very good season with the northern French club.
Coach Günes has called up an extended squad of 28 players for the three games during the international break (Netherlands, Norway, Latvia).
- Goalkeepers: Mert Gunok – Ougurcan Cakir – Altay Bayindir
- Defenders: Zeki Celik – Caglar Soyuncu – Kaan Ayhan – Merih Demiral – Mert Muldur – Ozan Kabak – Ridvan Yilmaz – Umut Meras
- Midfielders: Yusuf Yacizi – Dorukhan Tokoz – Irfan Kahvec – Okay Yokuslu – Orkun Kokcu – Ozan Tufan – Taylan Antalyali – Hakan Calhanoglu
- Forwards: Burak Yilmaz – Enes Ünal – Kenan Karaman – Cengiz Under – Abdulkadir Omur – Kerem Akturkoglu – Halil Dervisoglu
— Türkiye #BizimÇocuklar 🇹🇷 (@MilliTakimlar) June 1, 2021
Şenol Güneş: A Man of Experience
In 2002, the Turkish national coach had already taken his team to third place in the World Cup co-hosted by Korea and Japan. Indeed, he had already been in charge of the national team between 2000 and 2004, then returned in 2019.
When the federation announced his second appointment, the Turkish people began to dream of new epic feats. The 68-year-old coach, who played for Besiktas and Trabzonspor and is now often described as a teacher, can give advice to his players for hours on end.
He also has the task of polishing young players who have promising, bright futures. Turkish sports columnist Bagis Erten had stated that “he has the opportunity to rebuild a strong team. He has a lot of players who are ‘almost stars’.
It is up to him to make them become stars.” This shows just how much faith the Turkish supporters, who are fervently passionate about their national team, have in him.
🗓️ Turkey’s Match Schedule (Group A)
Turkey is in Group A at Euro 2020. They will be up against Italy, Wales and Switzerland.
In an evenly-matched group, Turkey will have to fight for one of the top two places to qualify for the rest of the tournament.
🏃 Turkey’s Euro Preparation
The Turkish national team finished second in Group H of the Euro 2020 qualifiers. A result of 7 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss allowed them to qualify directly for the group stage of the tournament.
Euro 2020 Qualification Results
The Nations League group stage was, however, much more complicated for Turkey and they finished last in their group.
Nations League Results
- 03.09.20 – Turkey 0 – 1 Hungary
- 06.09.20 – Serbia 0 – 0 Turkey
- 11.10.20 – Russia 1 – 1 Turkey
- 14.10.20 – Turkey 2 – 2 Serbia
- 15.11.20 – Turkey 3 – 2 Russia
- 18.11.20 – Hungary 2 – 0 Turkey
Five Matches to Prepare for the Euro
During the qualification period for the next World Cup in Qatar in 2022, Turkey faced the Netherlands, Norway and Latvia to try to qualify. In addition to these three matches, the Turkish federation has already organised two others which will take place at the end of May in order to make the final adjustments before the Euro.
- 24.03.21 – Turkey 4 – 2 Netherlands
- 27.03.21 – Norway 0 – 3 Turkey
- 30.03.21 – Turkey 3 – 3 Latvia
- 27.05.21 – Turkey – Azerbaijan
- 31.05.21 – Turkey – Northern Ireland
⭐ The Star Player at Euro 2020: Burak Yilmaz
Despite the wealth of young talent in Turkey’s squad, it is veteran Burak Yilmaz who is the boss. At 35, the Lille striker is a key member of both his club and national teams. He proved it again a few days ago, scoring a hat-trick against the Netherlands.
Having spent most of his career in the Turkish Super Lig, he joined Lille in the summer of 2020, bringing with him all of his experience. A true leader when it comes to attacking, he has already scored more than 10 goals this season.
His profile as a “soldier” player makes him a very important element in a team and his absence is noticeable when he is injured or unavailable. At the Euro, he will have the task of guiding his team to the top and adding to his already impressive record.
— Burak Yılmaz (@yilmazburak17) June 26, 2020
👟 The Player to Watch at Euro 2020: Yusuf Yazici
Of all the young talent in the Turkish national team, he is certainly the most impressive. Also playing for LOSC, Yusuf Yazici seems to be coming of age this season. The former Trabzonspor man impressed the Old Continent with a hat-trick against AC Milan in the Europa League (0-3).
A true playmaker in Lille’s midfield, he also knows how to follow through, as shown by his numerous goals this season. Moreover, he has managed to win over the hearts of Lille’s fans thanks, in part, to his goal in the derby match against rivals Lens.
Attracting the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs such as Juventus and AC Milan, Lille will certainly have to fight to keep their 24-year-old midfielder. At the Euro, he will also be one of Şenol Güneş’s key players.
— Yusuf Yazıcı (@yaziciyusuf97) March 30, 2021
📚 Turkey’s Stats and History at the Euro
Having been eliminated from the group stage in 2016, Turkey will be keen to do better in 2020. Take a look at some of Turkey’s history in the competition.
Turkey’s Euro Statistics
- 5: Euro 2020 will be Turkey’s fifth continental tournament
- 10: Out of 17 Euro matches played, the Turks have lost 10
- 15: The number of goals scored by the Turkish national team (with 25 conceded)
Turkish Players’ Individual Statistics at the Euro
- 3: Semih Sentürk is the best Turkish scorer in the competition with 3 goals
- 9: Rüstu Reçber has played in 9 of Turkey’s 17 games at Euro, the highest total for any player in the squad
- 35 years and 46 days: Rüstu Reçber is also the oldest Turkish player to have played a Euro match, having played in the 2008 edition against Germany
🥊 Turkey’s Main Opponents at Euro 2020
As part of Group A at the Euro, Turkey will have to face some formidable opponents if they hope to qualify for the following rounds.
The Squadra Azzura seem to be making a comeback after two consecutive failures in 2016 and 2018. The Transalpine team appears to be the favourite in the group.
The dark horse of the last Euro will want to do well in the competition once again. Led by Gareth Bale, the Welsh are the main opponents against Turkey.
The Nati regularly makes it past the group stage in international competitions. So other teams will be wise to be wary of them.