Croatia has the heart but Turkish team overcame many obstacles to get to the EURO 2016 so it will be a tough game, says Erman Copur.
Football has always been a big deal in Croatia. Even though the euphoria is somewhat less palpable this year, you can be sure the whole of Croatia will be glued to their TV sets on June 12, 2016, when Croatian national football team will play their first game at the Euro 2016 championship against Turkey.
And while Croatians will be cheering for their team, Total Croatia News reporter from Osijek James B. Mac Donald caught up with a Turkish national Erman Copur living in Croatia to get his views on football, today’s big match, and life in Croatia in general.
Erman Copur is the only Turkish national living in Osijek. He moved to Croatia three years ago and enjoys his new life here. According to Erman, the very first thing everyone asks him about is the famous football game back in 2008. Yes, the notorious penalty shootout that sent Turkey ahead in the EURO championship and sent Croatian players packing. Today, a new chapter will be written at 3 PM, and Croatians are, of course, hoping for a positive outcome this time around. Much to Erman’s surprise, my first question was not “Why did you move here”, instead here’s what I wanted to know:
Give us your take on today’s game. Who has the advantage?
It will be a lively game just like the last one, with both teams battling it out. My friends back home will be watching it and my new friends here will be watching as well. Croatia plays with a lot of heart and they want to prove themselves. However, Turkey will be coming on the field with confidence as they have faced difficult challenges before and prevailed. It’s going to be intense and above all, a great game to watch.
What does it mean to have Heart?
(As he speaks, Erman points to his chest). To put your heart in the game is to give it your all for your team. It is devotion to performing the best you can. Croatian fans are coming to me and telling me Croatia team is not playing with heart but holding back. I feel differently as Croatia has a very good team. Some of the key players need to push the ball harder. Turkey has the heart in the form of being confident. I see the match as a tough one and the game coming out as Tie.
A Tie? No goals or what is you exact prediction?
As I said before it will be a Tie game and the score will finish 1 – 1. The first goal will be from midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu or possibly Oğuzhan Özyakup (known as Ozzy). This will wake-up the Croatian Team to play harder in defence. In the last opportunity, the midfielder Luka Modrić will score the equaliser.
Do you perceive anybody getting injured or being carded?
It too early in the Euro Cup to start seeing injuries as both sides will try hard to prevent them. There will always be the missed calls from the referee on slide tackles. The referees will be making the usual calls but there shouldn’t be too many yellow cards hopefully. Next week the soccer fans will be talking about the missed goals or some of the critical mistakes that happened. This will be the first match in a highly anticipated Euro Cup for both our countries and all eyes will be on the game.
In your opinion, what is the toughest team in the competition, who will be the hardest one to beat?
Germany and Spain will be the toughest out there. France, even though they are the host country, will not be able to shake up these two teams, not if they keep playing the way they are playing now.
How does it feel being in the middle today, almost like being between two fires?
What can I say, I love Croatia and I love Turkey. I am following both teams and think it’s going to be a good match. For me it doesn’t matter who wins, I love the sport. The reality is one team will have to face Germany as this will be the biggest obstacle. If Croatia goes against them they really have to play hard to win and avoid the fouls. It will be a different story for Turkey as we already went against them this year.
What do you think about the beer commercial that is being aired?
It’s a really well played out commercial and pokes a little fun around the game. I think the fans can relate to both countries Turkey and Croatia, with the language being similar as a punch line. His wife just smiles as she only saw the commercial in question a few days ago. She says it’s pretty smart commercial.
While we hope the game will not cause any marital problems, we wish both Erman and his lovely wife all the luck in Croatia and to show what great hosts we are, we will only wish for a 2:0 win against Turkey today.