Turkey qualified for Euro 2016 as best third-placed team in Group A. They are our favourites to come last in what has to be the toughest group in the tournament.
However, their attacking style could lead to some surprises. Let’s assess Turkey’s chances…
Route to Euro 2016
Turkey finished qualifying in Group A as the best third-placed team and went through without needing to take part in a play-off. They ended with two points less than runners-up, Iceland, and four behind group winners, the Czech Republic.
Turkey lost once and won once against each of the two teams above them, with an 89th-minute winner against Iceland in their last match. This win saved them from the play-offs by putting them a point above Hungary (third place in Qualifying Group F).
Their run also included a 3-0 home win over Holland, who failed to qualify for Euro 2016, despite finishing third in the 2014 World Cup.
The first European Championship for which the Turkey national team qualified was Euro 96, where they lost all three of their group games before going home.
12 years later, Turkey became the comeback kings of Euro 2008. They hit the back of the net late in group games against Switzerland and the Czech Republic to qualify for the knockout phase.
In the quarter-final against Croatia, they bagged an injury-time equaliser to take the match to a penalty shootout. They won the match thanks to surprise misses from Croatia’s Ivan Rakitić and Luka Modrić.
In their semi-final against Germany, they scored yet another equaliser in the 86th minute. Turkey’s run ended when Germany’s Philipp Lahm smashed a shot into the roof of the net three minutes later.
Fatih Terim is currently on his third stint as manager of the Turkey national team, which began in 2013.
Previously at the helm for the country’s first appearance at the Euros in 1996, he also led them all the way to the semi-finals in 2008.
Terim won six league titles and the UEFA Cup as head coach of Galatasaray. He later had jobs with Fiorentina and Milan in Serie A.
While in Italy, he introduced an aggressive, attacking style, but his focus on entertainment made his teams vulnerable from a defensive standpoint and led to the sack.
Most important player
29-year-old, Arda Turan, joined Barcelona from Atlético Madrid in 2015. He spent seven months on the side-lines until Barca’s transfer ban was lifted in January 2016.
The playmaker is able to play in a central or wide role, while possessing both great vision and wonderful technique. It may prove tough to dislodge Andrés Iniesta from his central attacking role for his new club, but this is certainly a role at which Turan excels for Turkey.
Oğuzhan “Ozzy” Özyakup now plays for Beşiktaş, having started his career at Arsenal with whom he won the FA Youth Cup in 2009.
Playing as an attacking central midfielder for both club and country, Özyakup possesses a great first touch, as well as impressive stamina and energy.
While he wasn’t thought to be strong enough at Arsenal, Özyakup has worked on his physique, which now complements his great technique.
He has sparked interest from his old team, but it will cost the North London club a cool £15 million to buy back the player they sold for just £500,000.
The Turkey national team is in a strong group with Croatia, Czech Republic and reigning champs, Spain.
So while they have a stronger team than many others taking part in Euro 2016, it is the might of the opposition they face in this first stage that makes them the least likely team from Group D to progress to the knockout stage.
While we’re pretty sure they won’t win the group, the short odds of 9/10 we offer for their qualification shows just how tight we think the contest will be in this group.