Turkey proud to show their spirit, says coach


Turkey leave Euro 2024 having laden the tournament with their spirit and energy and won the hearts of football lovers all over the world, coach Vincenzo Montella said on Saturday.

Turkey lost 2-1 to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals in Berlin, the Dutch booking a semi-final with England in Dortmund after a bruising clash in front of passionate Turkish support.

"Since the start of the championship our team spirit and the support of our fans were unparalleled. We are very proud. The way our team played, interpreted and adapted to the game was great. We had a dream, and we were very close to it," Montella told reporters.

"We need to protect the way we play and our character as a team and take it to the next Championships," the Italian added.

Turkey took the lead in the 35th minute after the Dutch failed to clear a corner, leaving Arda Guler to cross perfectly to the back post for defender Samet Akaydin to head home.

Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij equalised with a powerful header in the 70th minute, however, before an own goal by Mert Muldur completed the Dutch comeback.

Turkey's memorable run at Euro 2024 included three wins and eight goals.

"We must be proud of our team. They played with great spirit, with Turkish spirit, so we feel the love of the Turkish people and I am proud of them. We deserve it," Montella said.

"After these Euros, Turkey will be seen with different eyes in the future, probably with more respect," he added.

"The players have acquired a lot of experience. For how we played and what we showed. There is a great sympathy in Turkey for this team and by other football lovers in other countries. This is just the foundation, we need to keep growing. The future is on our side."

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