Merih Demiral

Squad No. 28
Date of Birth March 5, 1998
Age 24
Height 190cm
Position Defender
Birthplace Kocaeli
Previous Clubs Sassuolo

Merih Demiral (born 5 March 1998) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Serie A club Juventus and the Turkey national team.

Early years
A product of the Fenerbahçe youth system, Demiral was signed by Portuguese side Alcanenense in 2016. In January 2017, he was loaned out to Sporting B, and made his professional debut in the Segunda Liga for the latter club on 5 February 2017 in a 1–1 home draw against Famalicão. At the end of the season, he was signed outright by the club.

On 15 August 2018, he joined Turkish club Alanyaspor on loan. On 29 January 2019, he permanently joined Alanyaspor for €3.5 million. On 30 January 2019, joined Italian Serie A club Sassuolo on loan with an obligation to buy. He made his Serie A and club debut on 24 February, in a 1–1 home draw against S.P.A.L., and scored his first goals, both for the club and in Serie A – a brace in a 4–0 home win over Chievo –, on 4 April.

On 5 July 2019, Juventus officially announced the transfer of Demiral from Sassuolo, on a five-year contract for €18 million. His salary was reportedly unfolded as €1.3 million per annum. He became the first Turkish player to play for the club. He made his club debut on 21 September, in a 2–1 home win over Verona in Serie A. He subsequently made his Champions League debut on 11 December, in the club’s final group match, earning praise in the media for his performance as he helped Juventus keep a clean sheet in a 2–0 away win over Bayer Leverkusen. He scored his first goal for the club on 12 January 2020, the opener in a 2–1 away win over Roma, which saw Juventus secure the unofficial title of “Winter Champions;” however, he was later substituted for Matthijs de Ligt after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury. As a result, he was expected to be ruled out for the remainder of the season, including Euro 2020. He returned to action on 1 August, featuring as a substitute in Juventus’s 3–1 home defeat to Roma in Serie A, with Juventus already confirmed as league champions.