North Macedonia coach Igor Angelovski announced their squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 Championships and he has named three young talents who have made a name for themselves of late.
While two of them — 22-year-old goalkeeper Riste Jankov and 23-year-old forward Milan Ristovski — are still uncapped, Darko Churlinov made his maiden appearance for the nation in 2017 in a friendly game against Belarus.
Churlinov, who is still just 20 years old, hasn’t played a game for the national side since then. However, he has scored five goals in 16 matches for the U-21 side which led to his selection.
“The three of them deserve to be at the Euro 2020 because they are the future of (North) Macedonian football and are also playing regularly for their clubs,” Angelovski told a news conference.
“This is a great group of players and I believe in them. They have achieved a historic success by qualifying and we will now do everything in our power to make an impact.
“We have set our ambitions high and as our goal is to reach the knockout stages. It’s been an incredible journey and we now have to be focused on the task ahead.”
The team qualified for Euro 2020 having won their fourth tier group in the 2018-19 Nations League. They won 1-0 in their playoff final last year at Georgia after beating their neighbours Kosovo 2-1 at home.
That boosted their morale and confidence considerably and as a result, they went on to win two of their opening three games and that included an upset of 2-1 against Germany as well. Angelovski said that these results show that this side is capable of competing with Europe’s best.
“Our win against Germany has shown that we have the ability to stand our ground against the top teams,” he said.
“The Euro 2020 group gives us a chance to reach the last 16 but we will have to be at our very best in all three games,” he added.
North Macedonia is placed in Group C along with Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria. They open their campaign against Austria on June 13.
Goalkeepers: Stole Dimitrievski (Rayo Vallecano), Damjan Shishkovski (Doxa), Riste Jankov (Rabotnicki Skopje)
Defenders: Stefan Ristovski (Dinamo Zagreb), Visar Musliu (Fehervar), Egzon Bejtulai (Shkendija), Kire Ristevski (Ujpest), Gjoko Zajkov (Charleroi), Darko Velkovski (Rijeka), Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United)
Midfielders: Arijan Ademi (Dinamo Zagreb), Enis Bardhi (Levante), Stefan Spirovski (AEK Larnaca), Boban Nikolov (Lecce), Tihomir Kostadinov (Ruzomberok), Ferhan Hasani (Partizani Tirana), Eljif Elmaz (Napoli), Daniel Avramovski (Kayzerispor), Darko Churlinov (Vfb Stuttgart), Marjan Radeski (Akademija Pandev)
Forwards: Goran Pandev (Genoa), Aleksandar Trajkovski (Real Mallorca), Ivan Trichkovski (AEK Larnaca), Vlatko Stojanovski(Chambly), Krste Velkovski (Sarajevo), Milan Ristovski (Spartak Trnava).