Turkey are an established name in international football. They consistently qualify for most tournaments and tend to apply themselves very well with a limited squad including some select quality players, this team again goes with that trend. Turkey qualified as one the highest rated 3rd placed teams and had overall a decent qualifying campaign after a rather shaky start. No win in the first 3 games and only 1 point left Turkey bottom of the group and needing a drastic turnaround, they did get that as a 8 game unbeaten run led them to finish an impressive 3rd after what was an ominous looking start.
This Turkish squad does include some high class talent, most notably the captain and Barcelona starlet Arda Turan who has already received a La Liga winners medal with previous club Atletico Madrid, and is arguably the biggest influence in this side. Other notable players include the Bayern Leverkusen player Hakan Calhanoglu who has become a regular for his national side scoring 5 goals in just 16 games. The 22 year old has impressed for his club side and is rated one of the Bundesliga's brightest young talents, paired with Turan in midfield these two are a partnership to be feared and Turkey will most likely be heavily reliant on both if they are to get to the later stages of Euro 2016.
A team that only finished 3rd in Qualifying Group A should have no chance of winning this tournament but Turkey were the highest ranked 3rd place finisher and they undoubtedly improved throughout their qualifying campaign. The Turks also have valuable experience on their side and have in the past progressed into the later stages of a number of tournaments, so they will harbour expectations of achieving the heights of previous teams, whether or not this team can do that is debatable though especially as they have been drawn in one of the most competitive groups at Euro 2016.
It may be that Turkey cannot get through the group and leave France with their tails between their legs but the possibilities are definitely there for this side, especially if they can scrape through the group and potentially continue their improvement with what is a very high class squad.
|Belgium / Netherlands||2000||Quarter-finals||6|
|Portugal||2004||Did not qualify||-|
|Austria / Switzerland||2008||Semi-finals||3|
|Poland / Ukraine||2012||Did not qualify||-|
Turkey have a best placed Semi-final appearance to their name at the European Championships, although it's hit or miss whether they actually qualify, when they do they generally put up a good performance.
|12.06.16||14.00||Turkey||0 - 1||Croatia|
|13.06.16||14.00||Spain||1 - 0||Czech Republic|
|17.06.16||17.00||Czech Republic||2 - 2||Croatia|
|17.06.16||20.00||Spain||3 - 0||Turkey|
|21.06.16||20.00||Czech Republic||0 - 2||Turkey|
|21.06.16||20.00||Croatia||2 - 1||Spain|
Turkey have been drawn in Group D which is one of the toughest groups at Euro 2016, due mainly to the lack of an obvious team to finish last, this group could genuinely go to any of the 4 sides competing. It's made up of Turkey, Spain, Croatia and the Czech Republic who the Turkish have already met in their qualifying campaign, losing the first time but winning the return fixture. Out of the 4 sides it is expected that Spain will win the group but is far from certain as Croatia have a quality squad and both the Czech Republic and Turkey cannot be ruled out either.
There is sure to be a shock result somewhere in this group and it could come from Turkey, as this side have already shown that they are on the up as they are unbeaten in their last 8 competitive matches and have shown massive improvement from the start of their campaign. If they can snatch a result from either Spain or Croatia this group will be wide open, and Turkey could well take full advantage.
However, first place may be out of reach as I cannot see both Spain and Croatia dropping points to the Turks, but 2nd is there for the taking. If Turkey can do as mentioned and get an unexpected result in one of their first 2 games then I would be confident that they would take 2nd place as it's predicted they will have too much quality for the Czech Republic in the final game of the group.
Below is a list of the 4 teams drawn in Group D and their FIFA World Ranking, as you can see, Turkey are the 2nd highest ranked team, just behind Spain.
Burak Yilmaz the Galatasaray striker registered 4 goals in 6 games during qualifying as they sneaked through Qualifying Group A in 3rd place as one of the 'Best Losers'. A potent finisher, Yilmaz will be the man Turkey bank on to find the net this summer. Selcuk Inan also managed to grab 3 goals en route to Euro 2016 and will be a player to watch during the group stages.
It is very difficult to be confident of where Turkey will finish at Euro 2016 as their group could go any number of ways. Where they end up may ultimately be out of their hands but they are a progressive team and would be fancied to beat the Czech Republic in their group match as they won their most recent meeting and seem to have much more quality to call upon within their squad.
The other 2 games could go either way, and a draw with either of these sides would not be a surprise, if they could manage to get that single point from these 2 matches it would ensure they qualify for the last 16 as either a second place finisher or by virtue of a highest qualifier. The test of the knockout stages may be beyond them as they will likely draw one of the top finishers in the group stages and will probably exit the tournament in the Last 16. The lack of proven world class quality throughout their squad may prove to be their downfall against an elite side, but a Last 16 result for this Turkish team would not be a disgrace.
Arda Turan is undoubtedly Turkey's key player. He seems to be at the centre of everything they create and is one of their most prolific goal scorers, getting on the score sheet twice during qualifying. His accomplishments alone make him the stand out player in this side as he has won a La Liga title, the Uefa Europa League and the Uefa Super Cup in a period of 3 years with Atletico Madrid. He is certainly the man that is most likely to create something for this Turkish side and as captain he will have extra responsibility to perform at Euro 2016.
Turkey traditionally have a fluid style of football. Many of the players that make up this squad play their football in Turkey's national leagues, where most games are built on attacking and this shows in their national team as they seem to be able to produce goals from anywhere on the pitch. That said, Turkey do have a lack of strength up front and are usually reliant on the wide men in midfield to get their goals which means that they do tend to stretch the opposition as they work the ball out to the players on the left and right wings.
A negative aspect to their offensive style of football is that Turkey do leave gaps in defence. Turkey managed to concede 9 goals in qualifying and most were due to counter attacks from the opposing side. This aspect of the Turkish play will have to be improved upon during Euro 2016 as the quality sides will have no problem in punishing their defence.