Turkey and Italy kick off UEFA EURO 2020 in Rome, the Azzurri looking to exploit home advantage at the Olimpico.
UEFA EURO 2020 kicks off in Rome as Italy – one of 12 host countries – take on Turkey in the opening round of Group A games.
• Quarter-finalists or better in each of their last three EURO appearances, Italy have never lost to Turkey in ten previous matches (W7 D3) and have suffered only one defeat in their eight opening matches at a EURO final tournament since 1980 (W3 D4) – 3-0 against the Netherlands in 2008.
• Turkey have qualified for four previous EURO final tournaments and reached the knockout stages twice – although they have lost their opening fixture in all four previous finals appearances, and have managed only one Matchday 1 goal, against Italy in 2000.
• This is the teams' second meeting in a EURO final tournament. Dino Zoff's Italy were 2-1 winners in their opening fixture at UEFA EURO 2000 thanks to goals from Antonio Conte – a spectacular overhead kick – and Filippo Inzaghi, a penalty; Okan Buruk was on target for a Turkey team coached by Mustafa Denizli. Both sides progressed from the section, Italy going on to lose the final to France while Turkey were beaten by Portugal in the quarter-finals.
• The sides' only other EURO fixtures came in qualifying for the 1964 event, Italy winning 6-0 at home – Alberto Orlando scoring four times, his only international goals, and Gianni Rivera twice – and 1-0 away.
• Italy kept clean sheets in each of the first five fixtures against Turkey, but have conceded one goal in each of the last five.
• The teams' two most recent games have both been 1-1 friendly draws on Italian soil, in Pescara in November 2002 – when Turkey were coached by current boss Şenol Güneş – and Bergamo four years later, when Antonio Di Natale's 39th-minute opener was cancelled out by a Marco Materazzi own goal three minutes later.
• Emre Belözoğlu scored Turkey's goal against Italy 18 years ago; now 39, he won his 100th cap in the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier against Andorra on 7 September 2019.
• Turkey coach Şenol Güneş was the goalkeeper of the Turkey team beaten 1-0 by Italy in a Florence friendly on 23 September 1978; none of Italy boss Roberto Mancini's 36 international appearances were against Turkey.
EURO facts: Turkey
• This is Turkey's fifth appearance at a UEFA European Championship, having made their finals debut in 1996. They reached the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2000 and the last four of UEFA EURO 2008 but failed to qualify for the 2004 and 2012 tournaments.
• Four years ago, Fatih Terim's team finished third in their section behind Croatia and Spain, missing out on a place in the round of 16 despite concluding their group campaign with a 2-0 defeat of the Czech Republic. That proved insufficient for a place in the knockout stages after defeats by both Croatia (0-1) and Spain (0-3) – the latter equalling Turkey's biggest defeat in a EURO finals.
• That 2008 semi-final against Germany in Basel, Switzerland – which Turkey lost 3-2 – matched their greatest international achievement. A side coached, as now, by Şenol Güneş received bronze medals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup after defeating co-hosts South Korea in the third-place play-off.
• Turkey qualified for UEFA EURO 2020 by finishing second in Group H behind world champions France, picking up 23 points from their ten matches. Four of those points came against Les Bleus (2-0 h, 1-1 a), with France's goal in the latter encounter the only one Turkey conceded in their last six qualifiers.
• Şenol Güneş's side conceded only three goals in qualifying, the joint best defensive record alongside Belgium.
• This is Turkey's second match in Rome; they qualified for the 1954 World Cup with a 2-2 play-off draw against Spain at the Olimpico on 17 March that year, going through after the drawing of lots.
EURO facts: Italy
• This is Italy's tenth EURO final tournament and their seventh in a row since sitting out the 1992 edition in Sweden. Only twice have they failed to advance through the group stage – in 1996 and 2004.
• Italy got as far as the quarter-finals at UEFA EURO 2016, finishing first in their group and beating holders Spain 2-0 in the last 16 only to lose to Germany in the last eight, going down 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
• Italy triumphed on home soil at the 1968 UEFA European Championship and have been runners-up twice since – in 2000 and 2012.
• This time round, Roberto Mancini's side won all ten of their qualifiers to finish first in Group J, swelling the number of countries to have reached the finals with a perfect record to eight, Belgium also having achieved the feat in the UEFA EURO 2020 preliminaries. Of the previous six to have won every qualifier, however, only Spain (2012) went on to win the tournament itself.
• A 3-0 win away to Bosnia and Herzegovina in their penultimate qualifier was Italy's tenth successive win in all internationals, the first time in their history they had achieved that feat.
• The Azzurri made it 11 straight victories with a 9-1 home win against Armenia in their final qualifying game, the first time they had scored nine goals in a game since August 1948. Seven different players were on the scoresheet, a new national record.
• Italy's record in Rome is W35 D18 L6, with three of those defeats coming in their last six matches at the Olimpico. Those are the Azzurri's only losses in their last 18 matches in Rome (W13 D2); most recently, they beat Greece 2-0 there in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying on 12 October 2019. They are undefeated in the Italian capital in EURO and FIFA World Cup matches; at final tournaments Italy's record in Rome is W8 D2.
Links and trivia
• Mancini was Galatasaray coach between September 2013 and June 2014, winning the Turkish Cup in his sole season in charge.Burak Yılmaz was the Istanbul club's top scorer that season.
• Have played in Italy:
Emre Belözoğlu (Internazionale 2001–05)
Merih Demiral (Sassuolo 2019 (loan), Juventus 2019–)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu (AC Milan 2017–)
Cengiz Ünder (Roma 2017–)
Mert Çetin (Roma 2019–)
• Inter's player of the year in 2002/03, Emre was part of the squad that won the Coppa Italia in 2004/05, his final season with the club, when Mancini was Inter coach.
• Have played together:
Merih Demiral & Mattia Perin, Mattia De Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus 2019/20)
Merih Demiral & Stefano Sensi (Sassuolo 2019)
Cengiz Ünder & Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma 2019–)
Cengiz Ünder & Antonio Mirante, Bryan Cristante, Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma 2018–)
Cengiz Ünder & Alessandro Florenzi, Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma 2017–)
Cengiz Ünder & Emerson (Roma 2017/18)
Cengiz Ünder & Luca Pellegrini, Gianluca Mancini (Roma 2019/20)
Cengiz Ünder & Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma 2017–19)
Mert Çetin & Leonardo Spinazzola, Antonio Mirante, Bryan Cristante, Nicolò Zaniolo, Alessandro Florenzi, Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma 2019–)
Mert Çetin & Luca Pellegrini, Gianluca Mancini (Roma 2019/20)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu & Gianluigi Donnarumma, Alessio Romagnoli (Milan 2017–)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu & Leonardo Bonucci (Milan 2017/18)
Çağlar Söyüncü & Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg 2016/17)
Cenk Tosun & Moise Kean (Everton 2019/20)