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TURKEY

Arda: "I want to continue at Barça, I'm very happy there"

"I'm upset about how I have been criticized back home. I don't have anything to prove to anyone. My performance wasn't the best but I have been critical with myself"
England vs Spain

Arda: "I want to continue at Barça, I'm very happy there"
Handout UEFA via Getty Images

Arda Turan joined Faith Terim in Thursday's press conference to look ahead to tomorrow's meeting with Spain in Nice. The Barça midfielder also reflected back on Turkey's opening game against Croatia.

Is the pressure on after losing the first game against Croacia?

It's normal [to be under pressure]. My own performance was far from my best. I've taken a long hard look at my own performance as the captain and while these things do happen and mistakes are made, we have to stay strong.

You haven't been getting much regular playing time at club level with Barcelona? Are you happy there and do you want to stay?

I'm very happy at Barcelona and yes I do want to stay. But right now I am completely focused on the national team. Playing for Barcelona, for me, is a dream.

What are the differences in your role with Turkey and at Barcelona?

I play in a different position with the national team. At Barcelona, I play in a central midfield role and with Turley I am more attacking. What I do with the national team is what the coach asks of me, I could play wherever he wants me to.

Arda Turan, in training with Turkey today

What conclusions can be drawn from the Croatia game?

It was our first match and the majority of the players in our squad don't have a great deal of experience. We were under a lot of pressure and after conceding, our performance levels dropped. It's an achievement for us to be at this tournament. That's not to say we can't do great things here but we have only lost one game. We'll really come out fighting against Spain.

What do you expect from the game against Spain? Is there extra pressure?

There's no pressure. We're a bit upset but we will try to play our own game and take some points from the match. The team who finish third in their groups can still go through to the next round and we have two games to play, so there are six points to play for. It's difficult to beat Spain but we have an opportunity to do it.

How do you feel about facing your Barcelona team mates tomorrow night?

I love them and I have a lot of respect for them but all of us are going to be giving the best we've got for our own countries, so I'll be doing my best for Turkey.

How do you see Piqué?

He's a leader on and off the field, he's got a lot of energy. He plays for the best team in the world and I am very proud to play alongside him. I hope he continues to have a great career.

What does this game mean to you on a personal level? Is it a chance for you to prove something?

I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I'm just going to give my best for my country.

What are your thoughts on Barcelona's reported interest in Gökhan Gönul? Do you think he's got what it takes to play for Barça?

Of course, he's got a lot of talent and could play for any club. But I'm not here to talk about him.

How have France looked to you?

Spain and Germany are the favourites but France is looking very strong too.

You seem a bit sad, what's wrong?

It's a great achievement for us to be in this competition and if we don't play well, it will be upsetting. But if we do play well, even if we don't qualify for the next round, we will have achieved something. I am a little upset at how I have been criticized back home. I don't want to give any names, but we have many young players who are giving everything they've got to represent our country. After being unbeaten in 15 games, we shouldn't have been criticized so severely for losing one.