Everything you need to know about Germany before Euro 2024
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Everything you need to know about Germany before Euro 2024

04/06/24 18:18

With under two weeks to go until Euro 2024 begins, we take a look at the team hosting the tournament and who will kick off proceedings against Scotland at the iconic Allianz Arena, Germany.

Die Mannschaft will be hoping to be the first team since France in 1984 to stage the tournament and win it. New manager Julian Nagelsmann has only been in the dugout for seven games thus far after being appointed in September 2023, but the former Bayern Munich manager has a talented group at his disposal.

**Provisional Squad **

Goalkeepers: Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Oliver Baumann (Hoffenheim), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) and Alexander Nubel (Stuttgart).

Defenders: Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), David Raum (Leipzig), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Robin Koch (Eintracht Frankfurt), Waldemar Anton (Stuttgart), Maximilian Mittelstadt (Stuttgart), Benjamin Henrichs (Leipzig).

Midfielders: Pascal Gross (Brighton), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Chris Fuhrich (Stuttgart), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen), Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona), Robert Andrich (Bayer Leverkusen), Aleksandar Pavlovic (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Kai Havertz (Arsenal), Niclas Fullkrug (Borussia Dortmund), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Maximilian Beier (Hoffenheim), Deniz Undav (Stuttgart).

Notable absentees include Champions League finalists Mats Hummels and Julian Brandt, alongside Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka who Nagelsmann managed in his time in Bavaria. All three combined have a total of 182 caps for the national side, experience that could be crucial with so many new additions and low capped players being introduced. Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala will be key to success this summer, with both enjoying exceptional club campaigns this season. They are joined by a plethora of international talent including Kai Havertz, Antonio Rudiger and Joshua Kimmich.

Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller may have enough expertise between them to hold down a dressing room however. Each player started the final of the 2014 World Cup in which Germany triumphed, and are the last three remaining from that squad heading into this tournament. With 355 caps between them, they are not only here for ability but provide a distinct winning mentality.

It will be Kroos’s last dance in football, capping off a stunning career in which he has lifted the highest honours in every team he has been a part of. Could he add a European Championship in his home nation to top of what has been an eternal career. Despite retiring from international football in 2021, he announced in February that he would return for what will now be the last time we get to watch one of the greats. The classy midfielder recently won his sixth Champions League in his last game in club football, defeating Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Group and Schedule

Germany are of course in Group A alongside Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland. They open the tournament in Munich on Friday the 14th June facing Scotland at 20:00 BST. Followed by Wednesday 19th June: Germany vs Hungary (17:00 BST). Sunday 23rd June: Switzerland vs Germany (20:00 BST)

Player to Watch

Florian Wirtz. Despite having only 16 caps to his name, Wirtz has had an outstanding season under Xabi Alonso at Leverkusen. He scored 18 goals and provided 20 assists as Leverkusen went undefeated in the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal, narrowly missing out on an undefeated treble losing the Europa League final to Atalanta and a certain Ademola Lookman.

Young attackers Wirtz and Jamal Musiala are almost guaranteed starters as the search to take Germany back to the pinnacle of international football continues. It took Wirtz just seven seconds to score against France in a recent international friendly, setting the record for the quickest goal scored in the national team's history. It wasn’t his own personal record however, once finding the back of the net within five for FC Cologne’s U19s.

Since recovering from a career threatening ACL injury in 2021, Wirtz has been lighting up stadiums across Germany and Europe, but what are his main strengths? Wirtz is in the 90th percentile or higher for Goal involvements, Progressive passes, carries and successful take ons. A hard worker, his sprint and average distance covered placed him in the top five for both categories in the Bundesliga this season. Coupled with world class technique, tactical intelligence and deadly end product, Wirtz is Nagelsmann’s not so secret weapon who I have little doubt will fully announce himself on the world stage this summer. With a stunning season at club level, a successful tournament could even place the German in contention for the world famous Ballon d’Or award.

Prediction

Germany are coming off the back of a disappointing World Cup campaign in Qatar, where they failed to make it out of the group just as they did in the previous tournament in Russia. Their last Euros Campaign ended at the hands of England in the RO16, and you have to look back to 1996 for the last time they triumphed in the competition. That’s despite making the semi-finals in both 2012 and 2016.

The support of home fans could be a double edged sword, with a lot of pressure on a new team with a very rich history at international tournaments. This is a new look squad, with a new manager after Hansi Flick’s failed appointment. They have been priced as third favourites coming into the tournament, but with Nagelsmann’s short reign as boss it’s difficult to predict exactly how they will perform. Friendly victories over France and the Netherlands have provided some much needed belief for fans and players alike, especially after the failed experiment with Kai Havertz at left back in a defeat to Turkey.

I expect them to go far, their squad is excellent on paper and I think Nagelsmann is one of the best managers at the tournament. If all groups finish as predicted, they could go all the way to the final without having to face favourites England or France.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Patrick McGahren

Writer

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