Considered as dark horses to impress at the euros this summer

Can they advance in their group of death & impress at the Euros?

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TurkeyParticipating Teams in the Euro Football 2024 Tournament

The Turkish national football team is gearing up for the 2024 European Championship finals. Turkey had a strong qualifying campaign and could be a dark horse on German soil.

In this in-depth 2024 Euro Cup preview, we look back on Turkey’s route to the finals, analyse their expected performances, and check out the star players in the team. Can the Turks cause a few upsets this summer? 

The Turkish Football Team in the Euro Football Tournament

Turkey will be competing in their sixth European Championship this summer. They have qualified for three in a row, having also made it to the Euro Cup finals in 2016 and 2020. 

Turkey’s first appearance in Europe’s elite international competition was back in 1996. They had a disappointing campaign in England, losing three out of three and suffering elimination in the group stage. 

However, in Belgium and the Netherlands in 2000, Turkey shocked Europe by reaching the quarter-finals. They followed Italy through to the knockout phase after collecting four points from a possible nine. Unfortunately, the Turks were beaten by Portugal in Amsterdam in the last eight. 

Turkey had their best Euro tournament in Austria and Switzerland in 2008, reaching the semi-finals. They picked up two wins to finish second behind the Portuguese in Group A. 

After losing 2-0 to Portugal in Basel in game one, Turkey hit back with wins against Switzerland and Czech Republic. They beat the Swiss 2-1 at St. Jakob-Park, with Arda Turan netting the winner in the 92nd minute. In the match with the Czechs, Nihat scored two late goals to guide the Turks to a famous 3-2 win. 

Turkey went up against Croatia in the quarter-finals. The game was heading for a goalless draw after 120 minutes, but the Croatians opened the scoring in the 119th minute. However, Turkey forced penalties with a 122nd-minute equaliser. The Turks went on to win 3-1 on spot kicks to book their place in their first-ever European semi-final. 

They squared off against Germany in the last four. Turkey gave the Germans a real game, eventually losing 3-2 in Basel, though Philipp Lahm won it for Germany in the 90th minute. Turkey finished the tournament in third place. 

The last two European Championships have been disappointing for Turkey. They picked up just one win and were knocked out in the group stage in France in 2016. In the pan-European tournament, which was played in 2021, the Turks lost all three group fixtures and finished 24th

The Crescent-Stars are looking to fare better in the 2024 competition in Germany. Turkey booked their place in this summer’s finals by winning Group D ahead of Croatia, Wales, Armenia, and Latvia. 

Turkey were seeded into Pot 2 for the draw. Hungary, Romania, Denmark, Albania, and Austria were also in the pot. The Turks were drawn into Group F for the Euro Cup finals, where they will take on Portugal, Czech Republic, and the play-off C winners. 

Turkey’s campaign will get up and running on June 18th, when Vincenzo Montella’s men will face the play-off C winners at the Westfalenstadion. The Turks will play either Georgia, Luxembourg, Greece, or Kazakhstan in Dortmund. 

Matchday two will be their toughest assignment on paper. Turkey will go head-to-head with 2016 winners Portugal at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig. The Portuguese are among the favourites to win the competition this summer. 

Turkey’s third and final Group F fixture will be against Czech Republic on June 26th. With Portugal expected to win the group, the battle for second is likely to be between Turkey and Czech Republic. Therefore, the matchup at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg is a huge one. 

The top two from the group will automatically progress to the last 16. Of course, a top-two finish is the aim for Montella’s side, although they could still go through as one of the best third-place teams. The fight for automatic qualification in Group F will be fascinating.   

Turkey’s Road to the European Championship 2024

In qualifying, Turkey went head-to-head with Croatia, Wales, Armenia, and Latvia in Group D. The Croatians were fancied to win the group, while the Turks and Welsh were set to battle it out for the runners-up spot. 

Turkey got their qualification journey up and running with a narrow victory in Yerevan in March. After going a goal down early on against Armenia, the Turks battled back to secure a 2-1 win at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium. 

The Turkish national side then crashed to a disappointing home defeat to Croatia on matchday two. The Croatians were too hot to handle in Bursa, with Premier League midfielder Mateo Kovacic netting both goals for the away team in a 2-0 Croatian victory. 

Turkey responded with a much-needed three points in Latvia in game three. They conceded in the 94th minute but went straight down the other end to score and secure a 3-2 win at Skonto Stadium in Riga. 

The Turks went up against Wales in a crunch match in Samsun three days later. Umut Nayir opened the scoring in the 72nd minute, and Arda Guler doubled their advantage eight minutes later. 

In early September, Turkey were held to a frustrating 1-1 home draw by Armenia. However, having been a goal down with two minutes left on the clock, it was certainly a point gained. Bertug Yildirim rescued a draw with an 88th-minute equaliser. 

Turkey then had a memorable October. They picked up two wins, while Croatia suffered two defeats. Firstly, the Turks beat the Croatians in a huge matchup in Osijek. Baris Alper Yilmaz scored the only goal of the game. They followed it up with a convincing 4-0 home victory over Latvia, while Wales beat Croatia in Cardiff. 

Montella was the new man in charge, and he got Turkey over the line with the easy win against Latvia. The Crescent-Stars topped off a memorable campaign with a 1-1 draw with Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium in November. 

After taking 17 points from a possible 24, Turkey won Group D. Despite a disruptive managerial change during the qualifying campaign, the Turks picked up five wins and suffered just one defeat. They were also the top scorers in the group, netting 14 goals in eight games. 

Turkey spread out the goals throughout the team. Kerem Akturkoglu and Cenk Tosun scored two each, while ten players all netted once. Croatia’s Andrej Kramaric was the group’s top scorer with four goals. 

Overall, it was a fantastic qualifying campaign for the Turks. Can they keep the momentum ticking and have a strong tournament in Germany this summer? 

Turkey’s Star Players in the Team

There will be many familiar faces in Turkey’s team in the 2024 European Championship. They have quality all over the pitch, especially in the forward areas. 

In defence, Caglar Soyuncu is a recognisable figure among English football fans. The former Leicester City man racked up nearly 100 Premier League appearances during his time at the King Power Stadium. After leaving Leicester for Atletico Madrid, Soyuncu was loaned out to Fenerbahce. Several other members of the squad ply their trade in Turkey’s top league. 

Salih Ozcan is a key man in the midfield for the Turkish national team. Born in Germany, Ozcan plays his football for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. He made his debut for Turkey in 2022 and is coming up to 20 caps. 

Without a doubt, Turkey’s main player is Hakan Calhanoglu. The Turkish captain is one of the best in the world at what he does, and Turkey could go far if the Inter Milan midfielder is on song in Germany. 

Calhanoglu, who has represented both Milan clubs, has been a fully-fledged Turkey international for over a decade. He played in the Euro Cups in 2016 and 2020 and will be a key man for Montella & Co. this summer. 

Turkey have many great options in attack, with the likes of Cenk Tosun, Bertug Yildirim, and Kenan Yildiz all battling for places in the forward line. The Turks will certainly not lack firepower in the 2024 European Championship. 

Turkey’s Chances of Winning the 2024 European Championship

Turkey were one of the dark horses in the 2020 edition, but things did not go to plan for the Crescent-Stars. In fact, they had an awful pan-European competition, losing all three games and finishing 24th out of 24 nations. 

However, after such a strong qualification campaign, Turkey will be tipped by many to go far in 2024. Croatia have reached the last two World Cup semi-finals, but the Turks beat them to the top spot and held off Wales in the qualifying group. 

Montella is highly thought of in the managerial world, having coached the likes of Sevilla and AC Milan. He could be the man to take the Turkish national team to the next level. 

Turkey finished third in the 2008 European Championships, and they also took third place in the World Cup in South Korea and Japan in 2002. Will they have another strong major tournament on German soil in 2024?

Starting XI?

Meet The Team




Mert Günok

İstanbul Başakşehir

Altay Bayındır


Uğurcan Çakır





Zeki Çelik


Merih Demiral


Çağlar Söyüncü

Leicester City

Umut Meraş


Ozan Kabak


Rıdvan Yılmaz


Kaan Ayhan


Mert Müldür





Okay Yokuşlu

West Bromwich Albion

Ozan Tufan


Dorukhan Toköz


Hakan Çalhanoğlu


Taylan Antalyalı


Orkun Kökçü


Abdülkadir Ömür


İrfan Kahveci


Halil Dervişoğlu





Cengiz Ünder

Leicester City

Kenan Karaman

Fortuna Düsseldorf

Yusuf Yazıcı


Enes Ünal


Burak Yılmaz (c)