Turkey have superbly transformed themselves from no-hopers to a team to watch out for in the UEFA Euro 2008. I had not anticipated Turkey to go beyond the group stages, a belief which I assume to had shared with millions of soccer fanatics worldwide. But not only the Turks have proved us wrong, they have done it in style. First they overcame the likely second-favorites Czech Republic of their group to cruise into quarter-finals, in what I believe to be one of the greatest comebacks I have ever seen in soccer. Then it was Croatia who bore the burnt of the Turks mighty confidence and self-belief. Croats probably deserved to be in their shoes right now, but they are heading back to their country after being knocked out following a gritty performance by Fatih Terim’s side. Kudos to them! Though heart will miss Slaven Bilić’s hip-attitude.
But Turkey’s real test comes on 25 June when they come across the mighty Germans in St. Jacob Park in Basel, who look detemined to earn the European glory. I don’t offer Turkey much odds on this one, but would be looking for an excellent semi-final. And enjoy the Turkish delight…or even Rote Grütze!