Turkey technical director Fatih Terim has expressed his concern about the national team’s chances at the European Championships this summer.
The Turks qualified for Euro 2016 as the best third-placed team after finishing behind the Czech Republic and Iceland in Group A. They won five of their 10 matches, losing only two, and picked up 18 points.
Turkey’s progression was one of the key reasons why the Netherlands were eliminated, winning only four of their 10 games, taking 13 points, and failed to even make the top three in their group, becoming the biggest casualties of the qualifying stage.
However, qualification has been rewarded by a particularly tough opening-round group at Euro 16 this summer.
As well as the Czechs, who topped Turkey’s group in qualifying, Terim’s side must also face reigning European champions Spain, who will be defending the title they won in 2012, and 2008.
However, speaking to NTV Spor, Terim has insisted that Turkey are also wary of the third team in their group, Croatia, due to the presence of two star midfielders.
Indeed, while the Croats may not naturally figure among the traditional tournament favourites, any side that can play Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona and Luka Modric of Real Madrid in the same midfield must definitely be taken seriously.
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“Our group at Euro 2016 is the group of death,” Terim told NTV Spor. “[As well as] one world champion, we’ll fight a former European champion [Czech Republic won the title in 1976], and an ambitious Croatia site.
“Their midfield is built on Barcelona and Real Madrid stars, and their forward line is built on into Milan and Juventus stars,” he concluded, presumably paying reference to Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic and Mario Mandzukic, as well as the aforementioned Modric and Rakitic.