Sports, Euro 2020

EURO 2020 starts Friday with Turkey vs. Italy opener

Showdown in Stadio Olimpico set to kick off at 1900GMT

Can Erozden   | 11.06.2021
EURO 2020 starts Friday with Turkey vs. Italy opener

ANKARA 

The Turkish national football team is set to face Italy in the opening match of the UEFA EURO 2020 as the European football contest will start on Friday.

Turkey do not have any injured player for this match.

However Italian central midfielder Marco Verratti is expected to miss the Turkey game for a knee injury. Verratti, 28, was injured in May as his club Paris Saint-Germain previously said. His treatment is ongoing.

The matchwill kick off at Stadio Olimpico in Rome at 1900GMT.

The game will be officiated by Dutch referee Danny Makkelie.

Turkey will face Italy, Wales, and Switzerland in the EURO 2020 Group A.

The matches against Wales on June 16 and Switzerland on June 20 will be played at Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan.

Erdogan tweets to encourage Turkish team

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday wished the team good luck in the tournament.

"I am very excited. I know, we are all excited. Today in the EURO 2020 #BizimCocuklar [Our Boys] will step on the pitch," Erdogan said on Twitter.

He said that Turkey always cherishes manager Senol Gunes and his team whatever the result will be.

"We are always standing by you. Godspeed," Erdogan added.

#BizimCocuklar is a popular social media hashtag to refer to the Turkish national team.

Turkey-Italy last match in 2000

Turkey and Italy last met in EURO 2000 co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands.

Italy beat Turkey 2-1 in the Group B match in the Dutch city of Arnhem.

In EURO 2000, Turkey reached the quarterfinals as they were eliminated by Portugal in the last eight.

Italy became the EURO 2000 runners-up with a 2-1 loss to France in the final in Rotterdam.

Turkey's 5th EURO finals

Turkey will play in the EURO tournaments for the fifth time in history.

The Turkish national team previously appeared in EURO 1996, 2000, 2008, and 2016.

Turkey failed to qualify for EURO 2004 and 2012.

The best performance of Turkey was a semifinal in EURO 2008 held in Austria and Switzerland.

Turkey lost to Germany 3-2 at St. Jakob-Park in Basel to end the 2008 tournament in the semifinal stage.

In the previous contest, EURO 2016 in France, Turkey came third in Group D with 3 points to be eliminated.

Portugal are the EURO 2016 champions.

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