Turkey coach Fatih Terim praised his younger players after securing Euro 2016 qualification with the best record of all third-placed teams.
Terim’s men beat Iceland 1-0 in Konya as Selcuk Inan netted a dramatic late free-kick to help his side leapfrog Hungary in the third-placed standings.
Qualification looked unlikely following a slow start to the Group A campaign but after five wins from their final seven games, Terim said his country deserved to seal their place.
“We can thank God, because we have managed to find the best for our country,” he said.
“I want to thank all those who made this possible, qualification here in Konya, and the President of the Federation, and children [players], because those are children. They must be protected.
“My country deserves to live these things and needs to feel happy. We are so pleased to have offered some happiness to our people.
“We have a young team and it makes us even more proud that it has achieved this.
“It is easy to speak today, so that after our trip to Latvia [a 1-1 draw in October last year], we remained modest.
“We played every game as a final by [you] telling us that we should not lose. My wife could not be here today, but I told her all my love is here.”