TFF President Mehmet Büyükekşi: "We Want To Make Our Country Happy" 2/8/2024
TFF President Mehmet Büyükekşi: "We Want To Make Our Country Happy"
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Turkish Football Federation President Mehmet Büyükekşi, Deputy President, Executive Board Member Responsible for FIFA, UEFA Relations and Foreign Affairs Mustafa Eröğüt, Board Member Responsible for National Teams Hamit Altıntop, who followed the draw in which our National Team was matched with Wales, Iceland and Montenegro in 2024/25 UEFA Nations League B Group 4, gave speeches after the ceremony.

President Büyükekşi: "We want to reach 1 million children"

Referring to their visit to FIFA President Infantino at FIFA Office in Paris, President Büyükekşi said, "We had a nice meeting with President Infantino. Within the framework of the protocol we made with Ministry of National Education and Ministry of Youth and Sports, our target was to reach 500.000 children, now we have increased our target to 1 million children. We asked for support there. We talked about the possibility of organizing an event and inviting Infantino to Türkiye. His approach was positive. Because UEFA currently has a foundation for children which works to make children love football. They made a presentation about the work they did in all countries where they reached 230 thousand children. However, in our project, our first target is to reach 500.000 children, which we are almost close to. Then we want to reach 1 million children. President Infantino was pleased to hear that. Hopefully, he will come to Türkiye and we will organize an event together. We also asked for material and financial support for our project."

"Our goal is to be the group leader and advance to League A"

Evaluating our opponents after the draw, President Büyükekşi said, "It was a good draw. As you know, we beat Wales in Samsun and then drew away. Iceland was a tough opponent for us in the past, but now we have a National Team composed of the youngest players in Europe. We trust our coach and our players. Montenegro is also a familiar team. Hopefully, our goal here is to be the group leader and advance to League A. One more issue is very important here. The teams that finish at the top here will have an opportunity to participate in World Cup. But hopefully we will be successful in World Cup Qualifiers and go to World Cup without the need for play-offs."

"We want to make our country happy"

Drawing attention to the recent success of our National Team, President Büyükekşi said, "Our National Team has been extremely successful, especially in recent months. Our goal is to have new young players coming like Arda and Kenan, who are doing good work in their teams. Currently one of our young stars, Semih, is doing great in Beşiktaş. We trust our youth, our National Team and our coach for the future. We want to give all the support we can as the board and the staff to achieve our goals and make our country happy. Our first target is European Championship right now. As you know, we will play with Hungary and Austria in March. As we announced today, we will also have a friendly match with Italy in June. We aim to reach semi-finals in Germany and keep going. I hope we will experience a successful tournament together."

Hamit Altıntop: "We can create the best National Team in the history of Türkiye"

Underlining the momentum that our National Team has achieved in the last 3 years and the system it has adopted, Board Member Responsible for National Teams Hamit Altıntop said, "It is a good draw. As you know, we promoted from Group C to Group B. Our current goal is promote to Group A and represent our country in the best way. I have been in charge of National Team for 3 years. When we analyze the last 3 years, we have a good progress. Not only as results, but also the average age of our current players has decreased and our game has improved. We want to maintain in this way."

Continuing his speech by evaluating our opponents, Altıntop said, "As you know, we do not have very good results against Iceland in our history. We also had difficulties against Wales from time to time. But I believe that we will continue to progress positively."

Emphasizing that they constantly follow the young players in National Team pool, Altıntop said, "This is my 5th year in charge. I have been responsible for Young National Teams since the first year. I have also been responsible for National Team for 3 years. In fact, Semih Kılıçsoy is not a surprise, we have been together with Semih for years. We follow him on the field, we pay close attention to him. Our coaches work very devotedly. Semih's play time in Beşiktaş inevitably made him come to the fore a little more. But he was always on our radar, he is a player whose potential we always believed in. Of course, we are very proud that he strengthens our squad and increases competition."

Pointing out that the key to success is through work, support and belief, Altıntop said, "Our dreams are big, but we also need to fulfill our dreams. We need to work hard, we need to work together. As you know, there are three outcomes in football: to lose, to draw and to win. Playing for each other is very important. If we can provide this, if our players perform well and believe in themselves, I believe they will be very successful. As you know, EURO 2032 will be in our country. Together with our players, we can move forward by setting very big goals and create the best National Team in the history of Türkiye."

Mustafa Eröğüt: "Our aim is to lead this group and win the promotion that we deserve"

Deputy President, Executive Board Member Responsible for FIFA, UEFA Relations and Foreign Affairs Mustafa Eröğüt, "When we were negotiating the contract with our coach Montella, we said that we had 3 goals: to go to European Championship and be successful, to advance in UEFA Nations League and to qualify for World Cup. Hopefully we will make our country proud in European Championship. After that, UEFA Nations League starts. As you know, the format has changed. Our aim is to finish this group as the leader and win the promotion that we deserve. After that, World Cup will begin. We are a team that is young and has potential. We know our opponents are not at their best. If we play every match with the same desire as we have in the last period, I don't think we will have any problems with the group leadership."

Providing information about the visit to FIFA President Infantino during the day, Eröğüt said, "Infantino hosted us in FIFA Office. The meeting went very well. One of our topics was the project in which we wanted to reach 1 million children and introduce football into schools. We discussed with FIFA about which organizations we could bring to Türkiye."

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