Hiddink Previews United States, Talks Euro 2016 Friday

National Team  •  Author: Nathan Redd   •   Saturday, May 29, 2010 Picture

The Turkish National Team will hit the pitch one last time Saturday in the final friendly of their American tour.  They'll play the hosts United States at Lincoln Financial Field before returning to Istanbul on Sunday.  Coach-in-waiting Guus Hiddink spoke with reporters Friday and talked about his team's final opponent.  The Dutch boss also talked about the shocking and disappointing announcement regarding Turkey's UEFA Euro 2016 bid. 

Hiddink spoke with reporters Friday to preview his team's final opponent on their current American tour.  The coach-in-waiting also talked about Friday's announcement that France, not Turkey, will host the UEFA Euro 2016 championship. 

"UEFA says they want to take their championships to countries who want to develop football, but they still award Euro 2016 to France, who have hosted it twice already, as well as the World Cup.  The decision made by seven executive committee members contradicts UEFA's own strategy and philosophy," Hiddink told reporters on Friday. 

The Dutch manager expressed his displeasure with Friday's announcement from UEFA headquarters in Switzerland.  "The Turkish government pledged a guaranteed 920 million Euros for this project.  This was a very important plus for us, yet they still awarded the tournament to France.  This is a very, very big disappointment for Turkey," he said. 

On the pitch, the new coach said that the team's United States tour has been very productive for his team.  "We'll be completing our American camp with a serious match," he told reporters Friday.  Approximately 50,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's game, with Turkey expected to have a large portion of those fans.  "The United States football team and their supporters have great interest in this match.  Playing in an atmosphere like this will benefit us," he said.

"The camp has been going very well, and it's been nice to evaluate our players both in competitive matches, as well as our training sessions."  Hiddink doesn't officially take over as coach until later this summer, but the technical director said he's still evaluating his team from afar.  "It doesn't bother me to watch the team from the stands.  It's been great to observe the players' characteristics and behavior," he said. 

Hiddink was asked what kind of national team he will create when he officially takes over.  "Turkish Football Federation President Mahmut Özgener asked me to create a team that is entertaining to watch.  Football is very popular in Turkey, and Turkish players love to showcase their talent.  However, if we only coach them without real organization, it's a disservice to them.  Taking into account international football standards, we aim to generally control the tempo of the game and dominate play," he told reporters. 

Despite the long club season, which just ended last week for most players, Hiddink said his team was focused during the American tour and came prepared to play a few more matches.  He said they were ambitious and passionate in practice and the two prior friendlies, and all of them gave tremendous effort. 

The Dutch coach said that he plans to implement his own style with the team.  He told reporters that with little time remaining before Euro 2012 qualifying, he had the opportunity to teach the players his system during the American tour. 

Hiddink was joined at Friday's press conference by Galatasaray star Sabri Sarıoğlu, a veteran of the Turkish National Team.  Sarıoğlu talked about the opportunity to play under a coach like Guus Hiddink, and told reporters that the American tour was very productive for the team.  He said the atmosphere within the team was very relaxed, but serious, stating that it was a good period of preparation for the team. 

The Turks take on the United States in the final match of their American tour.  Kickoff from Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field is set for 2 PM EST (21:00 Turkish time; 7 PM in the U.K.) on Saturday. 

(photo courtesy of tff.org)

Comments (4)

fener-pnw • 05:40 • May 29, 2010
European hypocrisy??? - who would have thunk it?
Aydan • 06:12 • May 29, 2010
I agree with everything Hiddink said. I hope we play well and win against the United States tomorrow. It's going to feel weird watching it on TV rather than the computer. I applaud ESPN for broadcasting the game.
fener-pnw • 06:20 • May 29, 2010
Yes, I am looking forward to it also!
nathan • 06:57 • May 29, 2010
Aydan, I was thinking the same thing. We Americans finally get to watch a match on TV! :)
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