Monday, June 24, 2024

´Emperor´ Terim´s come-back heroes bow out of Euro 2008

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 26 Jun 2008


He may refuse to believe in them, but Turkey coach Fatih Terim's team almost pulled off another miracle as the Euro 2008 come-back kings finally made their exit on Wednesday.

Turkey's 3-2 defeat was only sealed by Germany defender's Philipp Lahm's 90th minute striker as Terim's team threatened a fourth consecutive last-grasp win.

After Semih Senturk had forced an equaliser just four minutes from time to make it 2-2 it looked like Turkey were going to give Germany the same treatment they had handed out to Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Croatia.

But it was not to be and the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists took their Euro 2008 bow.

Whatever he may believe, Terim has worked miracles with his side.

A former captain of his country, the 54-year-old was appointed Turkey coach in 2005, having come out of retirement after a turbulent spell as boss of AC Milan.

Having earned the nick-name 'The Emperor' thanks to his leadership skills, Terim has nurtured his talented young side, after failing in his quest to win qualification to the 2006 World Cup.

Before the tournament started, Terim said he wanted to “remind the world about his team” and his side achieved the goal he set by consistently turning lost causes into dramatic success at Euro 2008.

Having opened their Group A campaign here with a 2-0 defeat by Portugal, Turkey bounced back with an injury-time winner to beat Switzerland 2-1 to stay in the competition.

They were 2-0 down in their final group game against the Czech Republic with 15 minutes left, but striker Nihat Kahveci hit two goals in the last five minutes to snatch a 3-2 win at the death.

And in their quarter-final, Semih Senturk scored with the last kick of the game in extra-time to take the game to penalties which Germany won 3-1 to reach the semi-final.

Germany coach Joachim Loew described Turkey's three come-backs as triumph in a 'miracle situation', but Terim says his side earned their place in the last four through sheer hard work.

“I have a simple message hanging on my wall: Nothing is impossible, but miracles take time,” said Terim, who has been known to quote Albert Einstein in press conferences.

“Every person is capable of making their own miracles, but I don't believe in them.

“If a team doesn't accept defeat and fights to the very end, that team will give themselves every chance of winning.”

Just ask Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Croatia.


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