Montella Cautiously Optimistic as Turkey Eyes Euro 2024 Success

Turkey's supporters wave flags prior the Euro 2020 football qualification match between Turkey and France at the Buyuksehir Belediyesi stadium in Konya, on June 8, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of Euro 2024, Turkish national team coach Vincenzo Montella acknowledges the increased competition but believes his squad has the potential to make a run.

Tougher Competition, Higher Expectations

Montella, speaking to UEFA’s official website, recognizes the evolving European football landscape. “The bar has been raised,” he stated, acknowledging that even mid-tier teams have improved significantly. This, he suggests, elevates the challenge for Turkey, but also raises expectations for the national team.

“Winning our group has been historic for us, because it’s the first time that Turkey has won in the groups both for the EURO and for the World Cup. We’re very pleased to have come top, but I think that from now on another adventure will begin,” he said.

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Balancing Confidence and Humility

Montella emphasizes the importance of a balanced approach for his players. “Conviction but absolutely not arrogance” is his mantra. He wants his team to believe in themselves but remain grounded.

Lessons from Qualification

While Turkey enters the Euros on a winless run, their qualification campaign offered reason for optimism. They topped their group, finishing ahead of Croatia, showcasing their potential.

Montella’s Coaching Philosophy

Montella highlights his player-centric approach. “You must choose a plan according to the characteristics of your players,” he explains. He prioritizes nurturing his players’ strengths over imposing his own tactics.

Historic Qualification and New Adventure

Montella acknowledges the significance of topping their qualification group. However, he emphasizes that this is just the beginning of a new challenge.

Squad Updates and Leadership

Turkey has faced some setbacks with injuries to key players like Enes Unal, Caglar Soyuncu, and Ozan Kabak. Montella has also made some final roster decisions, bringing in new faces and confirming Hakan Calhanoglu as captain. Experienced striker Cenk Tosun remains a crucial attacking presence.

Can Turkey Overcome the Odds?

With a mix of experience and youthful talent, Turkey hopes to navigate a difficult group stage and potentially reach the knockout rounds for the first time since 2008. Montella’s leadership and the team’s ability to translate their qualification campaign form into tournament success will be key factors to watch.