Turkey will challenge Italy in the opening match of the Euro, this Friday in Rome (9 p.m.). With Burak Yilmaz as captain. Over the years, the Losc striker, who will soon turn 36, has established himself as a captain in the national team.
It’s time to extend the dream. At least until early summer. After a dazzling season, rewarded with a title of champion of France with Losc, Burak Yilmaz is preparing to play the Euro. And the Turkish striker will live a great moment of entry, by challenging Italy in the opening match, this Friday in Rome (9 p.m.). A meeting that he will approach as captain. At almost 36 years old (he will celebrate them on July 15, four days after the Wembley final), Yilmaz is a taulier in his country. With his 67 caps and 29 goals on the clock, the former player of Besiktas, Fenerbahçe, Trabzonspor or Galatasaray represents a safe bet in his position.
His Lille fairy tale only strengthened his position. When it comes time to tackle the Euro, Turkey makes it logically its No. 1 offensive asset. Holder in four of the six matches of the selection in 2021 (each time with the armband) “Kral Burak” scored five goals, including a resounding hat-trick against the Netherlands at the end of March, in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers (4-2 ). He also scored in the last preparation match in Paderborn (Germany) against Moldova (2-0).
One goal every 2.3 games
Coach Senol Günes, in office since March 2019, trusts him to lead the front of the attack. In different systems. During its last outings, Turkey has evolved in 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2. With a Yilmaz more or less alone in front. Hakan Çalhanoglu (AC Milan) and Kenan Karaman (Fortuna Düsseldorf) are often in support or by his side. His Losc partner Yusuf Yazici is also present in the midfield, as is Zeki Celik on the right of the defense. What to put Burak in confidence.
Since his debut for the national team with Fatih Terim in April 2006 (2-2 in a friendly in Azerbaijan) and his first goal in March 2011 (1-1 in Belgium in the Euro 2012 qualifiers), the forward – Center crashes approximately every 2.3 games. For his second major international tournament, after Euro 2016 in France, he hopes to at least maintain this pace. Even doing better if possible. After his crazy season in the North, the scorer with the communicative grinta arrives in any case in full confidence. Turkey are hoping to profit well within a rather homogeneous group A, which also hosts Wales and Switzerland.