Our match prediction:
All eyes will be on Parc des Princes when Turkey and Croatia take on each other in the opening match of their Euro 2016 campaign. The Turks failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but they return to international stage and they certainly have big ambitions for the upcoming showpiece tournament. Fatih Terim’s men recorded back-to-back wins over Montenegro and Slovenia in previous two warm-up games and they will be looking to extend their winning run when they take on Croatia at the start of the 2016 European Championship finals. Ante Cacic’s troops gave fans some cheer in a thrilling 10-0 win over San Marino at the weekend, but the Vatreni will have to be at the top of their game if they are to beat Turkey in their Euro 2016 opener. Considering that both teams are likely to adopt a cautious approach in Sunday’s football game, we predict that they will share the spoils in the “City of Lights”
Highligted Player (Sahin):
Born in Germany to Turkish parents, Nuri Sahin is a Turkish international midfielder, who hasn’t exactly managed to realise his full potential. The left-footed footballer remains one of the most impressive players to have graduated from the Borussia Dortmund youth academy, and he went on to become a first team regular at Westfalenstadion at the age of 17. Following a thoroughly impressive loan stint with Feyenoord, Sahin returned to Dortmund, where he enjoyed two more very successful years before signing for Real Madrid. However, it was at that time that his career started taking the wrong turn as he was never able to rediscover his form, and he eventually returned to Borussia following a somewhat disappointing stint at Liverpool. Sahin is no longer considered a first team regular for either club or country, but he has amassed around 50 appearances for the Turkey national team, and he still has time to get his career back on track.
Highlighted Team (Croatia):
While the national football team of Croatia also played international matches between 1940 and 1944, they only resumed their duties in 1990 after the country gained independence from Yugoslavia. Vatreni enjoyed a remarkable start on the international stage, winning the third place on their first ever World Cup appearance in France in 1998, while crashing out in the group stage at the 2002, 2006 and 2014 tournaments. Croatia also reached the quarter-finals at the 1996 and 2008 European Championships, proving they are rightly considered one of Europe’s top sides at the start of the 21st century. Long-serving captain Darijo Srna is their most capped player with over 130 appearances for the national team, whereas former Real Madrid striker Davor Suker is one of their most famous players and top scorer with 45 goals. Other notable footballers to have played for Croatia include Luka Modric, Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic. Miroslav Blazevic and Slaven Bilic are the coaches that have been behind team’s biggest success stories up to date.