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Turkey vs Wales: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats

Turkey and Wales meet for the first time in almost a quarter of a century in the second round of Group A games at UEFA EURO 2020.

Wales's Ryan Giggs falls over Turkey defender Recep Çetin during the sides' 1996 meeting
Wales's Ryan Giggs falls over Turkey defender Recep Çetin during the sides' 1996 meeting Popperfoto via Getty Images

Turkey and Wales meet for the first time in almost a quarter of a century in the second round of Group A games at UEFA EURO 2020.

• There has been little to choose between the teams in their six previous fixtures, with their most recent match producing a remarkable ten-goal thriller.

• While Turkey need to get back on track after losing 3-0 to Italy in Rome in the opening UEFA EURO 2020 fixture – their joint heaviest EURO finals defeat – Wales are aiming to build on the 1-1 draw against Switzerland in Baku, Kieffer Moore's 74th-minute header rescuing a point after they had gone behind early in the second half.

Previous meetings

• This is the first time the teams have played since a memorable 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Istanbul on 20 August 1997. The home side ran out 6-4 winners thanks largely to four goals from Hakan Şükür against a Wales side who trailed 2-0 after eight minutes but recovered to lead 3-2 and 4-3 before finally succumbing to two more goals in the final 15 minutes from Turkey's all-time top scorer.

• The game in Cardiff in December 1996 had finished goalless; Wales were eliminated by their loss in Turkey, who also failed to reach the finals as they finished third in the section behind the Netherlands and Belgium.

• Wales caretaker coach Robert Page made his international debut in that 0-0 draw in December 1996, and also played 90 minutes in the 6-4 defeat the following August.

• That 1997 match was Turkey's first win against Wales since their sole previous success, a 1-0 home win in Izmir in 1980 UEFA European Championship qualifying in November 1979. That, and Wales's 1-0 success in Wrexham 12 months earlier, are the sides' only previous EURO contests.

• Current Turkey coach Şenol Güneş was in goal for both those games, and also the next two, Wales winning home (4-0) and away (1-0) in the qualifying competition for the 1982 World Cup.

• Wales have won three of the teams' previous six meetings, although that 1-0 victory in Ankara on 25 March 1981 was the most recent.

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.

Watch Nihat's dramatic 2008 late Turkey double

• In 2016 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.

All of Turkey's EURO 2020 qualifying goals

• Şenol Güneş's side conceded only three goals in qualifying, the joint best defensive record alongside Belgium. They kept eight clean sheets – more than any other team.

• This is Turkey's fifth match in Baku, and their first since a 1-0 loss to Azerbaijan in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying in October 2010. That was their first defeat in the city (W2 D1); they have never previously played at the Olympic Stadium.

EURO facts: Wales

• This is Wales's second successive UEFA European Championship, following their 2016 debut. It proved a memorable bow, as a team coached by Chris Coleman qualified first in their group ahead of England, Slovakia and Russia before beating Northern Ireland (1-0) and Belgium (3-1) to reach the country's first ever semi-final at a UEFA or FIFA tournament at any level for men or women. Portugal proved too strong in the last four, however, the eventual champions running out 2-0 winners.

EURO 2016 highlights: Wales 3-1 Belgium

• Wales's previous best EURO performance came in 1976, when they went out to Yugoslavia 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. They fell 2-0 in the first leg in Zagreb before a 1-1 draw in Cardiff.

• That 2016 campaign was only Wales's second appearance in a major tournament. They reached the quarter-finals at the 1958 FIFA World Cup – their only other championship experience – where they were eliminated 1-0 by eventual winners Brazil.

• In qualifying for these finals, a team managed by Ryan Giggs recovered from losing two of their first three matches to remain unbeaten in the last five (W3 D2) and finish second in Group E behind Croatia. They booked their place in the tournament with a 2-0 home win against Hungary in the last fixture.

Every goal on Wales' road to EURO 2020

• Wales also played in Baku on Matchday 1, the 1-1 draw against Switzerland being their first match at the Olympic Stadium. They had won 2-0 away to Azerbaijan at the 8 KM Stadionu in qualifying on 16 November 2019 thanks to goals from Moore and Harry Wilson; their record in Azerbaijan is now W3 D2.

• Page played 90 minutes in both of Wales's first two games in Baku, a 2-0 win in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying in November 2002 and a 1-1 draw in the preliminaries for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in September 2004.

Links and trivia

• Aaron Ramsey scored twice in Arsenal's 4-1 victory away to a Galatasaray side including Burak Yılmaz on Matchday 6 of the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League.

• Have played together:
Çağlar Söyüncü & Danny Ward (Leicester 2018–)
Merih Demiral & Aaron Ramsey (Juventus 2019–)
Cengiz Ünder & Danny Ward (Leicester 2020/21)
Ozan Kabak & Neco Williams (Liverpool 2021)

Latest news

Turkey's Yusuf Yazıcı shows off his pre-match skills


• Turkey played three warm-up games prior to UEFA EURO 2020, beating Azerbaijan 2-1 in Alanya, drawing 0-0 with Guinea in Antalya and prevailing 2-0 against Moldova in the German town of Paderborn. Their six-match unbeaten run was ended by the 3-0 defeat against Italy.

• There were international debuts in those friendlies for three squad members – Altay Bayındar, Ridvan Yılmaz and Halil Dervişoğlu, who marked his with a goal 34 minutes into the game against Azerbaijan.

• There are just three survivors in the Turkey squad from UEFA EURO 2016 – Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Ozan Tufan and Burak Yılmaz. Ozan and Burak were the team's only scorers in France, with one goal apiece. All three players started the opening UEFA EURO 2020 game against Italy.

• Burak scored 16 goals to help LOSC Lille become champions of France in 2020/21, his fellow Turkey squad members Yusuf Yazıcı and Zeki Çelik also contributing to the club's Ligue 1 title triumph. Çağlar Söyüncü and Cengiz Ünder were FA Cup winners in England with Leicester City, while Merih Demiral lifted the Coppa Italia with Juventus.

• There are only two members of Beşiktaş's 2020/21 Turkish league and cup double-winning side in the UEFA EURO 2020 squad – midfielder Dorukhan Toköz and Ridvan Yılmaz. Neither played in the opening defeat against Italy, a match in which only two home-based players from the past season, Trabzonspor goalkeeper Uğurcan Çakir and Fenerbahçe's Ozan Tufan, made the starting line-up.

• Turkey's defeat by Italy prolonged their record of losing every opening game at a EURO final tournament. Demiral's own goal was the first Turkey had ever conceded at the finals.

Ramsey hoping Wales can build on point


• Kieffer Moore's goal against Switzerland was his sixth for Wales and came on his final tournament debut. Wales have never lost a game in which he has scored (W4 D2).

• Wales had failed to score in their two pre-tournament friendlies, losing 3-0 to France in Nice and drawing 0-0 against Albania in Cardiff. Neco Williams was sent off after 26 minutes in the defeat by France, in which 19-year-old Rubin Colwill came off the bench to make his international debut.

• There are no 2020/21 domestic league winners in the Wales squad. Indeed, 15 of their UEFA EURO participants spent the season operating in the second or third tiers of English football. The only major trophy winners in the squad were Aaron Ramsey, who lifted the Coppa Italia with Juventus, and Danny Ward, who helped Leicester City capture the FA Cup – though neither played in the final.

• There are eight survivors from UEFA EURO 2016 in the Wales squad for this tournament: Joe Allen, Gareth Bale, Ben Davies, Chris Gunter, Wayne Hennessey, Ramsey, Ward and Jonny Williams.

• Bale, Wales's record scorer with 33 goals, has failed to find the net in his last 12 internationals – his longest barren run since he went 20 games without a goal from August 2007 to October 2010.