As Turkey faces Italy in the first match of EURO 2020, who better to kick off our 'EURO memories' series than footballer Hamit Altıntop – part of the Turkey squad that reached the EURO 2008 semi-finals. Hamit got in touch with our EURO series author and collector, Sporting Memories' Graham Leydon.

Hamit played in all 5 of Turkey's matches in EURO 2008 and was included in UEFA's 23-man Team of the Tournament.

Visit EURO 2008 Spotlight: How brilliant was Turkey's Hamit Altıntop?

During his career, Hamit Altıntop played for Bayern Munich (reaching the UEFA 2010 Champions League final) and Real Madrid, before signing for Galatasaray in 2012 and Darmstadt in 2018. He is an Executive Board Member of the Turkish Football Federation.

He tells us:

There are many memories of the EUROs that I will not forget, but the match we played at Basel in 2008 against the host Switzerland was the most unforgettable.

Incredible rain that day. It was like a disaster. We learned after the match there were even interruptions in the broadcast because of the rain.

Switzerland are playing better in the rain and getting ahead. They are missing amazing goals. We are defending hard and saving balls from the line.

The rain stops at halftime and in the second half we are playing better. First, Semih's header, then Arda Turan's coming from the midfield and scoring from outside the penalty area in the last minutes to win the game. It was unforgettable.

The match looked like it was going to end badly and we would be eliminated. But we won and cleared our way to the semi-finals.