Germany coach Joachim Loew says he knows all about the passion and never-say-die spirit of Turkey ahead of Wednesday's Euro 2008 semi-final from his year spent coaching Fenerbahce.
The 48-year-old spent a year coaching the Turkish giants in Istanbul's Fenerbahce district and says he expects 100 per cent commitment from the depleted Turks.
Despite having nine players injured or suspended for Wednesday's semi-final at Basel's St Jakob-Park Stadium, Loew says he is taking nothing for granted from Fatih Terim's side who have made last-gasp wins their speciality here.
“We know some of their players are injured, but those who come in will give their all to compensate,” said Loew as Turkey claimed the scalps of Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Croatia en route to the semi-final.
“When I lived in Turkey at Fenerbahce, it was my third year as coach and I benefited enormously from the experience.
“Turkey belongs to my most cherished learning experiences.
“Turkish supporters are so passionate, to support a team is a huge priority for their fans, it is unique and I really learned from that.
“The hospitality was incredible.
“They are warm people, even those who were not the richest or who knew me only from seeing me on television would invite my family and I for dinner.
“Wherever I went, I was welcomed with open arms.”
And with 500,000 Turkish fans expected to watch the game on giant screens at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate in the German capital on Wednesday, Loew is hoping the semi-final will pass off peacefully back home.
There will be intense interest in Germany – from both sets of fans.
Turkish workers made up the bulk of Gastarbeiter – literally guest workers – who helped drive Germany's economic recovery after World War II and there are around 2.5 million Turks living in Germany.
And Loew is hoping there will be no trouble on German streets when one of the teams makes their Euro 2008 exit.
“I dearly wish for this match to pass without incident,” said Loew.
“I hope there is no provocation from the fans of either side.”
In 17 matches between the teams since 1951, Germany have won 11 of the clashes, and reached the semi-finals with a 3-2 win over Portugal in the quarter-finals.
Turkey, who reached the 2002 World Cup semi-finals, needed a goal right at the end of extra-time to take their last eight clash against Croatia to penalties and won the shoot-out 3-1.
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