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Euro 2024: Turkish Messi announces himself as young stars shining

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Another day, two more youngsters taking centre stage at Euro 2024.

Arda Guler curled in an early contender for goal of the tournament as Turkey broke Georgia hearts on their European Championship debut with a 3-1 win.

And just a few hours later, 21-year-old Francisco Conceicao scored 111 seconds after coming on to earn Portugal a late 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic.

Guler, the 19-year-old ‘Turkish Messi’, became the third teenager to score on his first Euros appearance – after Ferenc Bene for Hungary against Spain in 1964 and Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal against Greece in 2004 – with a brilliant 20-yard strike.

He is also the youngest player to score on his European Championship debut.

Guler joined Real Madrid in July from Fenerbahce and, after initially struggling for fitness and form, finished the season with five goals in five league matches as his club won La Liga and he became the first Turkish player to lift the Champions League.

Former Wales captain Ashley Williams said on BBC One: “An incredible goal. We spoke about this being a chance to announce himself on the major tournament scene and boy did he do that.

“He showed his quality. We were expecting to see something from him – that is unbelievable.”

Former England defender Stephen Warnock added on BBC Radio 5 Live: “Earlier on in the game we saw Arda Guler roaming round the pitch [and showing] those nice touches that he possesses.

“The moment of magic that we saw with the goal was quite brilliant – that is only a glimpse of what he can do.”

With veterans like Robert Lewandowski, Luka Modric, Ronaldo and 41-year-old Pepe possibly in their last European Championship, Guler is just the latest of the new generation to show European football is in good hands.

“The Turkish Messi has delivered – what a tournament this is becoming for the youngsters,” said commentator Guy Mowbray.

In Group F’s second game of the day, Porto’s Conceicao continued the trend of young players impressing in this tournament as he drilled home an injury-time winner in his first competitive game for his country.

Source:BBC

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