Everything you need to know about Turkey before Euro 2024
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Everything you need to know about Turkey before Euro 2024

10/06/24 12:06

Everybody’s ‘dark horses’ for Euro 2020 could in fact be dark horses for this year’s tournament. Turkey topped their qualification group, impressively finishing above Croatia, beating them 1-0 away from home.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Mert Gunok (Besiktas), Ugurcan Cakir (Trabzonspor), Altay Bayindir (Manchester United)

Defenders: Zeki Celik (Roma), Merih Demiral (Al Ahli), Mert Muldur (Fenerbahce), Ferdi Kadioglu (Fenerbahce), Abdulkerim Bardakci (Galatasaray), Samet Akaydin (Panathinaikos), Ahmetcan Kaplan (Ajax).

Midfielders: Hakan Calhanoglu (Inter Milan), Kaan Ayhan (Galatasaray), Okay Yokuslu (West Brom), Orkun Kokcu (Benfica), Salih Ozcan (Borussia Dortmund), Ismail Yuksek (Fenerbahce), Arda Guler (Real Madrid)

Forwards: Cenk Tosun (Besiktas), Irfan Kahveci (Fenerbahce), Kerem Akturkoglu (Galatasaray), Baris Alper Yilmaz (Galatasaray), Yunus Akgun (Leicester), Kenan Yildiz (Juventus), Bertug Yildirim (Rennes), Semih Kilicsoy (Besiktas), Yusuf Yazıcı (Lille)

Star Player

The talk of the town is Real Madrid’s Arda Guler, however he may not be ready carry his nation just yet. Hakan Calhanoglu has the experience and ability to do just that. Calhanoglu has played 85 times for his country, which he is also the captain of. He is off the back of a fantastic season for Inter, where he scored 13 and assisted three on the way to winning the league for Inter, and being awarded Serie A Best Midfielder for 2023-24.

Calhanoglu possesses traits that are only for the elite. He is a fantastic leader, who is technically gifted, and also is brilliant from all set pieces. Last week, Calhanoglu admitted that he feels as if he is the ‘strongest’ midfielder in Europe, revealing his confidence in himself ahead of what could possibly be his last chance to make memories with Turkey in the European Championships.

Previous Euro’s performance

As previously mentioned, Turkey was almost everybody’s dark horse back in 2021, however it ended up failing spectacularly. It was one of the worst campaigns we have ever seen in a European Championships, losing all three matches, scoring once and conceding eight times.

Prediction for Euro 2024

Some people may fall for the same trap as in 2021 and predict Turkey to do well. I believe that they will make it through the group in third place, being one of the best third place teams. The knockouts will be a step too far, and I see them being knocked out in the Round of 16.

Group Fixtures

Tuesday 18th June (17:00 BST) Turkey vs Georgia; Saturday 22nd June (17:00 BST) Turkey vs Portugal; Wednesday 26th June (20:00 BST) Czech Republic vs Turkey.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Alex Gendler Smith

Writer

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