Euro 2024: 'Turkish Messi Announces Himself'

Another day, two more youngsters taking centre stage at Euro 2024.

Arda Guler curled in an early contender for goal of the tournament as Turkey broke Georgia hearts on their European Championship debut with a 3-1 win.

And just a few hours later, 21-year-old Francisco Conceicao scored 111 seconds after coming to earn Portugal a late 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic.

Guler, the 19-year-old 'Turkish Messi' became the third teenager to score on their first appearance in the Euros - after Ferenc Bene for Hungary against Spain in 1964 and Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal against Greece in 2004 – with a brilliant 20-yard strike.

He is also the youngest player to score on his European Championship debut.

Guler joined Real Madrid in July from Fenerbahce and, after initially struggling for fitness and form, finished the season with five goals in five league matches to win La Liga and become the first Turkish player to lift the Champions League.

Former Wales defender Ashley Williams told BBC One: "An incredible goal. We spoke about this being a chance to announce himself on the major tournament scene and boy did he do that. He showed his quality. We were expecting to see something from him, that is unbelievable."

Former England defender Stephen Warnock added BBC Radio 5 Live: "Earlier on in the game we saw Arda Guler roaming round the pitch seeing those nice touches that he possesses.

"The moment of magic that we saw with the goal was quite brilliant - that is only a glimpse of what he can do."

And, with veterans like Robert Lewandowski, Luka Modric, Ronaldo and 41-year-old Pepe possibly in their last European Championship, Guler is just the latest of the new generation to show European football is in good hands.

"The Turkish Messi has delivered - what a tournament this is becoming for the youngsters," said Guy Mowbray.

In Group F's second game of the day, Porto's Conceicao continued the trend of young players impressing in this tournament as he drilled home an injury-time winner in his first competitive game for his country.

- Author: Andy Cryer, BBC


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!