Hakan Calhanoglu concedes he has been grilled on Italy strengths and weaknesses by his Turkey teammates and reveals he spoke to Milan ‘three days ago’ about his contract.
The opening Euro 2020 fixture kicks off on Friday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) in Rome.
“This is going to be a special game for us,” said the midfielder in his press conference.
“Personally, it’s even more special for me because it’s played in Italy. I am very happy to be up against some of my club teammates. We waited so long for this moment and worked really hard, because we hope to represent Turkey honourably.”
Calhanoglu is one of the Serie A based Turkish players, including Merih Demiral and Kaan Ayhan.
“I was asked about the Italian players. They have some very good forwards like Lorenzo Insigne, but also excellent defenders. Everyone knows how strong Italy are, they don’t need me to tell them that, but we want to win tomorrow.
“We analysed their strengths and weaknesses, they have a strong coach, but it was not easy for us to get here. Turkey also have strong individual players and we expect a very entertaining match.”
Italy and Turkey are the two favourites to qualify from Group A, ahead of Switzerland and Wales.
“It’d be wonderful to face Italy again in the Final,” added Calhanoglu.
“They have quality, but so do we, and we have worked so hard to reach the Euros. If we play without fear, we can achieve something special. We want to win.”
Calhanoglu is also at the centre of a tense transfer situation, as his contract with Milan expires on June 30 and he still hasn’t decided what to do.
“I spoke to Maldini three days ago, he called me. We talked about Milan, I said that I wanted to concentrate on the Euros. I will always speak to Maldini and Massara with great respect.”