The main 11 players in Turkey’s national team are the subject of this article with a short description for each. Read our article on How will Turkey line up at UEFA Euro 2020 to find out all about the squad.
Turkey's national football team competes in international football matches for men. The Turkish Football Federation, the country's governing organization for football, was established in 1923 and has been a member of FIFA since 1923 and UEFA since 1962.
The team's best results came in the 2000s, with third-place finishes at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, as well as a semi-final appearance at UEFA Euro 2008.
Five times, the team qualified for the UEFA European Championships. They made their debut in Euro 96, and went on to reach the quarter-finals in 2000 and the semi-finals in 2008.
In the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, Turkey was placed in Group A alongside Iceland, Latvia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.
After defeating Iceland 1–0, the Turkish squad qualified for their first major tournament in eight years as the best third-placed team, with Selcuk Inan scoring a free kick in the 89th minute.
After going nearly 18 months without losing, the team's winning streak came to an end in a pre-tournament friendly loss to England, which was followed by back-to-back losses in the tournament to Croatia and Spain. Turkey defeated the Czech Republic 2–0 in their most recent match.
Turkey Euro 2020 squad will play with the 4-1-4-1 formation.
The UEFA EURO 2020 schedule for Turkey's games in Group A: (All kick-off times are shown in CET: Central European Time)
Friday 11 June
: Turkey vs Italy (21:00, Rome)
Wednesday 16 June
: Turkey vs Wales (18:00, Baku)
Sunday 20 June
: Switzerland vs Turkey (18:00, Baku)
The 4-1-4-1 formation is a playstyle that focuses on a strong defense while not fully ignoring offensive elements.
Individual strengths are emphasized in this game system. It may be employed as a solid basic formation if you have the correct players, and particular qualities can be leveraged to gain an even greater advantage.
This system is strengthened by its startling depth of four rows, in addition to the flanks being patrolled by both wingers and fullbacks, similar to the 4-4-2 with a flat back four (with an additional line of four in midfield).
You'll be able to manage the game in possession while also being powerful defensively if you have a solid midfield.
Sportmob has picked 11 players whom we think would make it to the main squad. Here are all the players who will have a chance to be a member of the
Turkey Euro 2020 squad:
Altay Bayindir, Ugurcan Cakir, Mert Gunok
Kaan Ayhan, Zeki Celik, Merih Demiral, Ozan Kabak, Umut Meras, Mert Muldur, Caglar Soyuncu, Ridvan Yilmaz
Taylan Antalyali, Hakan Calhanoglu, Halil Dervisoglu, Irfan Can Kahveci, Orkun Kokcu, Abdulkadir Omur, Dorukhan Tokoz, Ozan Tufan, Okay Yokuslu
M. Kerem Akturkoglu, Kenan Karaman
, Enes Unal, Cengiz Under, Yusuf Yazici, Burak Yilmaz
Below is our own list of players who we believe will be key members of Turkey Euro 2020 squad.
Fehmi Mert Gunok (born March 1, 1989) currently representsIstanbul Basaksehir
Gunok has represented Turkey in international tournaments since he was a U-16 in 2004. In 2012, he was given his first senior international cap.
During the Euro 2020 qualifying stage, he was Turkey's first-choice goalkeeper, and he helped the team qualify for the finals.
Gunok joined Istanbul Basaksehir F.K. on July 31, 2017. In his debut season with Basaksehir, he was the backup goalkeeper to Volkan Babacan, a former Fenerbahce colleague, and he only played in the Turkish Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
After a 2–0 score versus defending World Champions France in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match on June 8, 2019, he got a clean sheet.
Gunok was the primary goalkeeper for Turkey, which had their best defensive performance ever in the UEFA European Championship qualification stages under Senol Gunes' management, scoring three goals in ten games.
Senol Gunes stated on 14 May 2021 that he has been called up for the extended 30-man squad ahead of UEFA Euro 2020.
Based on his great performance, we think that Gunok will be the main goalie of the Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Caglar Soyuncu (born May 23, 1996) currently plays as a defender forLeicester City
in the Premier League and for the Turkish national team.
Soyuncu is skilled at playmaking, dribbling, and timing and possesses leadership qualities.
He is strong in the air, standing at 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in). In 2016, he revealed that Carles Puyol, a Spanish defender, is his idol and that he admires Mats Hummels, a German international.
Martin Keown, a former English international and current BBC Sport pundit, analyzed Soyuncu in 2019, calling him "a defender made for the modern game," praising his quickness, tenacity, and heading abilities.
Soyuncu signed a five-year contract with Leicester City in the English Premier League on August 9, 2018. He was signed for an apparent sum of £18 million, which might rise to £20 million with additions.
Soyuncu made his Premier League debut on October 27, 2018, at the King Power Stadium, where Leicester and West Ham United ended up with a 1–1 draw.
Soyuncu netted his first Premier League goal in Leicester's 2–0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the 11th game of the 2019–20 season.
He produced the game-winning goal in Leicester City's 2–1 away win over Manchester United on May 11, 2021, their first win at Old Trafford since 1998.
Ozan Muhammed Kabak (born March 25, 2000) now plays for Schalke 04 and the Turkey national team as a center-back.
Ozan is a Turkish young international. At the 2017 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, he captained the Turkey U17s and was named one of UEFA's top ten players to watch.
Kabak made his senior team debut against Andorra in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match on November 17, 2019, and played the entire match, which Turkey won 2–0.
on loan for the duration of the 2020–21 season on February 1, 2021.
According to reports, the deal was for £1 million, with £500,000 in add-ons dependent on appearances and Liverpool's Champions League performance.
It also includes a buy option, which was set at £18 million but could climb to £26.5 million with add-ons.
He made his Liverpool debut in a Premier League match against Leicester City on February 13, 2021, which ended in a 1–3 away defeat.
He made his UEFA Champions League debut on February 16, 2020, in a 2–0 away win over RB Leipzig, making him the first Turkish player to play for an English team in the league. Kabak will be a part of the Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Cengiz Umut Meras (born December 20, 1995) now plays as a left-back forLe Havre
Meras joined Bursaspor on August 31, 2018, after two excellent seasons with Boluspor.
On September 21, 2018, he made his professional debut for Bursaspor in a 0–0 Super Lig tie against Istanbul Basaksehir.
Meras signed a four-year contract with Ligue 2 club Le Havre AC in August 2019.
Meras made his Turkey national football team debut as a starter on May 30, 2019, in a friendly against Greece.
We believe that Meras is going to be one of the key players of the Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Mehmet Zeki Celik (born February 17, 1997) now plays as a right-back for Ligue 1 clubLille
and the Turkey national team. He will be playing in the
Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Celik was born in Bursa, the youngest of nine children, he attended the Bursaspor youth academy before becoming a professional in 2015. In 2015, he signed a loan deal with Karacabey Birlikspor.
He joined Istanbulspor in 2016. Despite playing in the TFF First League, his outstanding record with Istanbulspor earned him a call-up to the senior Turkey national team in 2018.
Celik signed a five-year contract with Lille OSC on July 8, 2018. Celik made his professional debut for Lille on August 11, 2018, in a 3–1 Ligue 1 victory over Stade Rennes.
On 5 June 2018, Celik made his professional debut for the Turkey national football team in a 1–1 friendly against Russia.
Okay Yokuslu (born March 9, 1994) is on loan from Celta de Vigo and plays as a midfielder for Premier League clubWest Bromwich Albion
He signed for Kayserispor for a record transfer fee of TRY 2.3 million (€1 million) on June 27, 2011, when he was 17 years old.
On September 16, 2011, he made his Super Lig debut as a starter in a match in which Kayserispor was defeated by Antalyaspor 1–0.
Yokuslu joined English club West Bromwich Albion on loan for the duration of the 2020–21 season on February 1, 2021. He made his Albion debut six days later as a replacement for Romaine Sawyers in a 0–2 away league loss to Tottenham Hotspur.
Okay was named to Turkey's U-20 team for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2013.
He netted a "beautifully judged chip over the stranded from 25 yards (23 m)" to seal the hosts' 2–1 victory over Australia and advance to the competition's final 16.
Yokuslu was named to the Turkey national football squad on November 6, 2015, for a friendly against Qatar and Greece.
In a 0–0 tie against Greece, he made his debut as a late substitute. Okay too is going to be present in the Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Hakan Calhanoglu (born February 8, 1994) is an offensive midfielder who now plays for Serie A clubMilan
as well as the Turkish national team.
Calhanoglu, who was born in Germany, chose to represent Turkey at the international level from the age of 16.
He earned his senior debut in 2013 and was a member of their squad at the 2016 UEFA European Championships.
Calhanoglu netted his first international goal in a 2–1 friendly win against Luxembourg on March 31, 2015, with a 30-yard strike with three minutes left.
He added two more goals in a 4–0 friendly triumph over Bulgaria at home on June 8, one of which was a free-kick.
On 10 October, he scored his first competitive goal, a cross that sealed a 2–0 away win over the Czech Republic in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match.
In the 11th meeting between the two nations, a friendly at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 22, 2016, Calhanoglu became the first Turk to score against England.
In the 2–1 loss, he equalized the game. Calhanoglu produced the second goal in Turkey's 2–0 win over Albania in their first UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier on March 22, 2019. Hakan will soon be seen in the Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Ozan Tufan (born March 23, 1995) now representsFenerbahce
in the Super Lig and the Turkish national team.
He primarily plays as a holding midfielder, but he can also play right-back and right-winger. On May 19, 2013, he made his Super Lig debut against Genclerbirligi.
Fenerbahce purchased Ozan from Bursaspor for €7 million on August 12, 2015.
We guess that Ozan will be a main player in the
Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Tufan was a member of Turkey's under-19 national team, which won silver at the 2013 Mediterranean Games in Mersin, Turkey. He also competed in the 2013 UEFA European Under-19 Championship for his country.
Tufan debuted for Turkey in a national match against Ireland in Dublin on May 25, 2014.
Tufan netted his first goal against Denmark National Football Team in a friendly game on September 3, 2014, with a long-range shot in the 90th minute. The game ended in a 2–1 victory for Turkey.
Cengiz Under (born 14 July 1997) plays as a right-winger for Leicester City on loan fromRoma
and for the Turkey national team.
Under will probably be another one of the main members of the Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Under signed a season-long loan with Premier League club Leicester City on September 20, 2020, with the potential of a permanent transfer. He made his debut as a replacement in a 3–0 defeat against West Ham United.
He scored his first goal for Leicester on October 25, when he helped Jamie Vardy's winning goal in a 1–0 away win over Arsenal, ending Leicester's 47-year wait for a win at Arsenal.
In a 2–0 home win over AEK Athens in the UEFA Europa League on December 10, Under produced his first Leicester goal.
Under has played for the Turkey national youth football team in the U18 and U19 levels. He was just called up to Turkey's under-21 national football team.
Under was called up to the senior Turkey squad for the match against Kosovo in November 2016.
In March 2017, in his second cap for his country, he scored his first international goal in a friendly victory over Moldova.
Kenan Karaman (born March 5, 1994) is a professional footballer who represents his country as a striker.
Karaman signed a pre-contract deal withHannover 96
on April 29, 2014, that began on July 1, 2014.
He was allowed to join Hannover on a free transfer after his contract with Hoffenheim ended, and he signed a three-year contract until 2017.
Karaman signed a three-year free transfer deal with recently promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf on May 18, 2018.
The number 11 shirt was handed to him. On the 24th of May 2021, his contract with Fortuna expired, and he left.
On November 9, 2017, Karaman made his senior debut for Turkey's senior national football team in a friendly 2–0 loss to Romania.
We anticipate that Karaman is going to be one of the lucky 11 in the Turkey squad for Euro 2021.
Burak Ylmaz (born 15 July 1985) captains the Turkey national team and plays as a striker forLigue 1
In a friendly match against Azerbaijan on April 12, 2006, Ylmaz made his international debut for Turkey, under coach Fatih Terim, in a 1–1 tie.
He netted his debut goal in a 1–1 away tie with Belgium during UEFA Euro 2012 qualification on June 3, 2011. Later, he was a member of Turkey's UEFA Euro 2016 squad.
In a 4–2 win over the Netherlands in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification on March 24, 2021, he scored his first international hat-trick.
Lille has confirmed that Ylmaz will appear on August 1, 2020. A two-season contract was reached between the two parties.
Ylmaz made his Ligue 1 debut against Rennes in the first week of the 2020–21 season, which ended 1–1 at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on August 22, 2020, after being replaced by Jonathan David in the 64th minute.
On 4 October 2020, Ylmaz scored his first league goal against Strasbourg as Lille defeated their opponents 3–0. He got a brace in a 3–2 comeback away win over fellow title contenders Lyon on April 25, 2021.
He scored a penalty in a 2–1 away win against Angers on May 23, 2021, to give Lille their fourth Ligue 1 title.
Given his brilliant results over the past few years, we suspect the Ylmaz would be one of the key players in the
Turkey squad for Euro 2021.