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The Turkey team line up
© Getty Images

*FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Turkey have participated at two FIFA World Cups so far. After securing their place at Switzerland 1954 they were forced to wait 48 years before taking part at the tournament again, qualifying for Korea/Japan 2002. While the Milliler had to pack their bags after the group stage on their competition debut, they caused a sensation at the 2002 finals by finishing third. Turkey also qualified for the 1950 World Cup in Brazil but decided not to participate.

The team
There was widespread disappointment in Turkey when the national team failed to reach Brazil 2014 after finishing fourth in European qualifying Group D behind the Netherlands, Romania and Hungary, missing out on the tournament for a third successive time. The side, spearheaded by captain Arda Turan and striker Burak Yilmaz, is filled with technically gifted and tactically well-drilled players, but they have been hampered by inconsistency. Turkey are aiming to remedy that and make amends with their passionate supporters by booking their ticket to Russia 2018. After all, the national team are famed for being a formidable opponent once they get into their stride.

*The coach
Considered the most successful coach in the history of Turkish football, Fatih Terim is currently in his third spell in charge of the national team and is therefore well aware of the responsibilities the role brings. The former Turkish international also had three stints as Galatasaray coach and held the reins at Italian clubs Fiorentina and AC Milan between 2000 and 2001. He would relish causing a stir with his homeland at Russia 2018.

*The stat
3 – Turkey managed to finish third at two major international tournaments in the space of two years. After their podium finish at Korea/Japan 2002 they also secured the bronze medal at the FIFA Confederations Cup France 2003. Furthermore, Turkey reached the semi-finals at UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria/Switzerland.

*The former stars
Hakan Sukur, Rustu Recber, Bulent Korkmaz