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Germany eyes title as fans get ready for Euro 2024 party

They went out of the next two World Cups in the group stage, their worst showing in over 80 years, and exited the last Euros in the round of 16.

Germany eyes title as fans get ready for Euro 2024 party
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Fan park activation at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate

BERLIN: Germany begins its quest for a first major title in a decade as the Euro 2024 hosts play their Group A opener against Scotland on Friday to kick off the tournament and what the country hopes will be a month-long party for visiting fans.

Germany have won four World Cups and three European Championships but its stellar tournament reputation has been somewhat tarnished with a series of failures since their 2014 World Cup victory in Brazil.

They went out of the next two World Cups in the group stage, their worst showing in over 80 years, and exited the last Euros in the round of 16.

With the tournament on home soil, there is only one outcome that will satisfy Germany’s fans, who are desperate for the success they once took for granted: winning the title.

Despite their 2022 World Cup disappointment, a string of terrible results since, including a 4-1 home defeat to Japan back in September, and a change of coach a month later, the Germans still have their eyes on the big prize.

Coach Julian Nagelsmann, who took over in October 2023, made that clear only days before the tournament. “The normal ambition: we want to win it,” Nagelsmann said of the team’s goal.

His team are banking on a mix of hugely talented young players, including Jamal Musiala and newly-crowned Bundesliga champion Florian Wirtz, and experienced veterans such as 2014 World Cup winners Manuel Neuer, Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos.

TITLE AMBITIONS

The big question remains their goal-scoring ability with Kai Havertz, far from a natural number nine, being their first-choice striker. BVB forward Niclas Fuellkrug will be on the bench.

They will need to underline those big ambitions against the Scots, who are playing in back-to-back European Championships for the first time since 1996.

Scotland, clear underdogs, are hoping for an early upset that could help guide them through the group stage for the first time in 11 international tournaments.

Apart from success on the pitch, the host country is also banking on a wave of enthusiasm from their own fans as well as an estimated 2.7 million visitors for the June 14-July 14 event.

Large fan zones have been set up across all major cities, including Berlin’s massive fan space, stretching from the iconic Brandenburg gate far into the west of the city.

Agencies
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