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Latvia look to emulate 'golden generation'

Latvia's UEFA EURO 2004 vintage were the Baltic nation's "golden generation" but Kaspars Gorkšs feels the current crop could pen their own "amazing success story".

Latvia look to emulate 'golden generation'
Latvia look to emulate 'golden generation' ©UEFA.com

Latvia defender Kaspars Gorkšs feels his country have a chance of repeating the "amazing success story" they penned in 2004.

Latvia's finest achievement to date came more than a decade ago when they qualified for UEFA EURO 2004. They did not merely make up the numbers in Portugal either, securing a famous 0-0 draw with Germany in their second game of the group stage. Now, ten years on, they are on the brink of another qualifying campaign and, with 24 teams set to take part in UEFA EURO 2016 in France, they are hopeful of a second major tournament appearance.

"The new format of the European Championship gives more hope to countries like Latvia to get involved and to repeat the amazing success story we had in 2004," said experienced centre-back Gorkšs. "Obviously it gives us a bigger chance, purely looking at it mathematically, but you still need to win games and get points on the board. We need to be as high as possible in the table, and now we have that extra spot to maybe make our chances a bit better."

Latvia – "a pretty young team who need to stick together" according to the 32-year-old – were drawn in qualifying Group A alongside the Czech Republic, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Netherlands and Turkey. They begin their campaign in Kazakhstan on 9 September.

Click the video above to hear more from Gorkšs and team-mate Vitālijs Maksimenko.