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'Europeans talking about Turkish football players' achievements'

Anadolu Agency SPORTS
Published May 30,2021

Turkish defender Merih Demiral said people in Europe are talking about Turkish players' successes in major leagues.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in Turkey's pre-tournament training camp in the Mediterranean city of Antalya on Sunday, Juventus center-back Demiral said Europeans now notice Turkish players' achievements.

"As long as we -- young players -- play in (Europe), players from next generation will also have a chance to appear. They say good things for us. We don't want to disappoint people," he said.

Referring to the postponement of the European Championship for 2021 due to the pandemic, Demiral said: "Last year, we suffered some injuries before the pandemic, four to five players were injured. Then the (coronavirus) outbreak affected people a lot. The postponement of the tournament was good for the national team."

"We're all ready now and have been waiting for this moment."

The 23-year-old player said they are players who enjoy the pressure and play at the best teams of the top leagues, adding that the Turkish national team have the best players in each position.

Reminding that the national team will take on Italy in the first game of the tournament, Demiral noted: "After defeating Italy, we want to continue with confident steps. ... There is a nice atmosphere and solidarity (in the training camp) with both young and older players."

Demiral, who made 24 appearances for Juventus in Italy last season, stressed that playing against Italy means a lot to him.

"It is not clear what will happen. We will do our best. It will be special for me to play against Italy in Italy. We (Demiral and his teammates from Juventus) were joking about it.

"This match will be special for Turkish players playing in Italy."