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Sport Soccer-Turkey's Calhanoglu hopes to meet Italy again in Euro 2020 final

00:35  11 june  2021
00:35  11 june  2021 Source:   reuters.com

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Turkey ’ s Italy -based players include AC Milan’s Hakan Çalhanoğlu , Sassuolo’s Mert Muldur and Kaan Ayhan and Juventus’s Merih Demiral. “We respect the Azzurri we know they're very good players, but we're also a young side,” said Çalhanoğlu . The midfielder said all the Turkey players were excited about playing “It’s a special match for all of us but especially for me because I will be playing against my teammates. We have been looking forward to this game for a long time and we hope to get at least one point,” he told the news conference. Çalhanoğlu echoed Güneş’s wish to meet Italy in the final .

Turkey - Italy UEFA EURO 2020 . Olimpico in Rome - Rome. 2020 , Group stage - Group A. Meet the teams: Turkey . Görkem Kirgiz, Turkey reporter: Although a very young team with many players yet to reach their peak, Turkey can realistically hope to progress one or two stages. However, with a bit of luck and the element of surprise, it' s not altogether inconceivable to picture them on the podium hoisting the trophy.

ROME (Reuters) - Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu and his coach Senol Gunes said before their opening Euro 2020 game against Italy that they hoped to progress from Group A with the Italians and face them again in the final.

a close up of Hakan Calhanoglu: Euro 2020 - Turkey Press Conference © Reuters/HANDOUT Euro 2020 - Turkey Press Conference

Calhanoglu, who plays for AC Milan, said all the Turkey players were excited about playing in the tournament's opening game in Rome on Friday.

"It's a special match for all of us but especially for me because I will be playing against my team mates. We have been looking forward to this game for a long time and we hope to get at least one point," he told a news conference on Thursday.

See you in the final! Turkey relishing Euro 2020 opener with Italy

  See you in the final! Turkey relishing Euro 2020 opener with Italy Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu and his coach Senol Gunes said before their opening Euro 2020 game against Italy that they hoped to progress from Group A with the Italians.Calhanoglu, who plays for AC Milan, said all the Turkey players were excited about playing in the tournament's opening game in Rome on Friday against Roberto Mancini's men.

A talented Turkey side, built mostly around young guns, will take on European veteran Italy in Rome’ s Stadio Olimpico on Friday to kick off the COVID-delayed Euro 2020 . Any hopes of achieving a similar feat this summer could depend on continuing that solidity. There are threats at the other end of the pitch, too. AC Milan playmaker Hakan Çalhanoğlu will be more than familiar with his opponents in Rome. 'King Burak'. Italy ' s defenders could have their work cut out against star forward Yılmaz.

Turkey and Italy get Euro 2020 under way in Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Friday, one year later than planned because of the Covid-19 pandemic. About 16,000 fans are expected to attend the opener - with supporters expected at all 51 games across 11 countries this summer. Turkey ' s squad has an average age of 24 days and 352 days, the lowest of any side at Euro 2020 . Senol Gunes' side were the only team not to concede a single goal from open play in Euro 2020 qualifying, while their overall total of three goals conceded was a joint low with Belgium.

Turkey face Italy, Wales and Switzerland in Group A at the June 11-July 11 tournament, led by captain Burak Yilmaz who played a key role in Lille winning their first French Ligue 1 title in 10 years this season.

Gunes echoed Calhanoglu's wish to meet Italy in the final.

"It will be a source of pride for us to beat Italy in the first game. We are not one of the favourites of the tournament as we arrive here but we would love to become a favourite," Gunes said.

"I would love to reach the final and play it against Italy."

Gunes is looking to repeat the success of Turkey's 2002 World Cup campaign when he led them to an unexpected third-place finish.

"Our journey in international football really started with the 2002 World Cup semi-finals and everyone would love to win, but I'm sure we will continue to learn from this tournament," he said.

Italy coach Roberto Mancini understands Turkish football following a spell as manager of Galatasaray.

"We know Italy's strengths, but also their weaknesses. We are well aware of Italy's prestige and tradition, qualifying for almost all these competitions," he said.

"Nonetheless, it'll be a hardfought game, in all aspects, in technical, tactical and physical terms. I want to see the quality of my players on show."

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay, editing by Jonathan Spicer and Ed Osmond)

Ruthless Italy sweep past Czechs 4-0 in Euro 2020 warm-up .
Ruthless Italy sweep past Czechs 4-0 in Euro 2020 warm-upLazio forward Ciro Immobile put the hosts ahead in the 23rd minute against the run of play when he latched onto a weak clearance and swept the ball into the net after it took a slight deflection off a Czech defender.

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