The national team only played their first game in December 2006 – losing 7-3 in Romania – but at the third attempt Turkey have made it to the UEFA European Futsal Championship finals, the only survivors from the preliminary round. They got past that stage in the 2007 edition (indeed winning their competitive debut 6-3 against Albania in January 2007 having lost their six debut friendly games) but fell in the qualifying round. But this time they beat two teams who played in the last finals, Hungary and Belgium, to earn their place in Croatia as one of the best runners-up.
As the Turkish league is only two years old, coach Ömer Kaner, a famous footballing name, has drawn his talent from Belgian and Dutch clubs, with players including Cihan Özcan, Kenan Köseoğlu, Aziz Sağlam and Hüseyin Yıldız. He also has at his disposal Giresunspor's 35-year-old midfielder Altan Aksoy, once of Galatasaray AŞ, whose technique has proved a boon in the small-sided game.
Cihan Özcan, Burak Yıldırım, Burak Köseoğlu, Aziz Sağlam
Date of Birth: 21 May 1951
Playing career: (football) Eskişehirspor (twice), Fenerbahçe SK, Zonguldakspor, Bakırköyspor, Karagümrük
Coaching career: (football) Bakırköyspor (assistant), Zeytinburnuspor, Fenerbahçe SK (assistant), Denizlispor, Sarıyer, Erzurumspor, Aydınspor, Diyarbakırspor, Çaykur Rizespor, Göztepe, Kemerspor, Karşıyaka, Eskişehirspor, Elazığspor, Kayseri Erciyesspor, MKS Pogoń Szczecin, Altay GK, Hatayspor, Aksarayspor, (futsal) Turkey
Kaner made his name in football but since taking charge of Turkey's new futsal team in 2006 has swiftly made them a continental force. A striker, Kaner was Turkish league top scorer in 1974/75 with Eskişehirspor, also had a spell at Fenerbahçe and was capped once by the national team. In 1985 he retired from playing and trained as a coach in Germany and England before becoming assistant at Bakırköyspor then took charge of Zeytinburnuspor in 1991/92.
Gaining wide experience at several clubs in Turkey and Poland, Kaner also assisted Todor Veselinović, Guus Hiddink and Jozef Vengloš at Fenerbahçe. As caretaker at the Istanbul club he won the President's (now Super) Cup with a 3-2 win against Beşiktaş JK in 1990 and in 1993/94 led Denizlispor to promotion. In 2006 he took up a new challenge with Turkey's newly formed futsal team and their improvement was swift as they qualified for the European finals this time around at only their third attempt.
Qualifying top scorer
Cihan Özcan 8
2010: Did not qualify
2007: Did not qualify
2005: Did not enter
2003: Did not enter
2001: Did not enter
1999: Did not enter
1996: Did not enter
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.