The Turkish national soccer coach Vincenzo Montella counts Germany as one of the European Championship favorites – and is relying on his own fans in the direct duel on Saturday (November 18th, 2023, 8:45 p.m., live in the radio report at the Sportschau) in Berlin.
“There will be an extraordinary atmosphere. As if we were playing at home”said Montella before the final training on Friday (November 17th, 2023). “There are a lot of Turks living here and we want to make them proud.” Over 70,000 fans are expected at the Olympic Stadium for national coach Julian Nagelsmann’s home debut – at least half are expected to support Turkey.
In the European Championship qualifiers, Turkey, which has already qualified for the tournament in Germany (June 14th to July 14th), will play in Wales on Tuesday. “In order to be able to continue planning, it is important to show a good performance here”said Montella.
Montella took over the Turkish national team in September, succeeding Stefan Kuntz. After the fifth defeat in the 20th international match, after a 2:4 against Japan, the Turkish association parted ways with Kuntz. “The players have to reach the level of giving 100 percent. If they don’t give 100 percent, it hurts me. Answers are given in the middle of the field, not in interviews”said Kuntz.
Ayhan and Özcan – well-known faces from the Bundesliga
The new coach Montella started with two victories in the European Championship qualification against Latvia and Croatia, which meant that Turkey was confirmed as a participant in the finals. In a 4-2-3-1 system, Montella relies on an axis around captain and playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu, who will be missing against Germany due to injury.
Calhanoglu now plays for Inter Milan, but grew up in Germany and played in the Bundesliga for a long time, like Kaan Ayhan (Galatasaray) and Salih Özcan, who is under contract with BVB in Germany.
Juves Yildiz – talent with a lot of potential
The biggest talent in Turkish football is probably Arda Güler from Real Madrid, but he is missing from the squad against Germany due to an injury. Kenan Yildiz, 18, a variable offensive player from Juventus Turin, is also considered a great talent.
Yildiz was born and raised in Regensburg, and later played for FC Bayern’s youth teams before moving to Turin in the summer of 2022. He has now made it into the first team and has appeared five times in Serie A this season.
It would be a surprise if Montella Yildiz were named in the starting eleven against Germany, but a short appearance is certainly possible. Most recently, he made his debut in the victory in the European Championship qualifiers against Croatia.