Sports

Euro 2024 kick-off: Germany and Scotland prepare to get party started – live


Key events

What have Euro 2024’s photographers been up to? Here are some examples:

Dutch fans: Bringing colour to the tournament since whenever. Photograph: Vincent Jannink/EPA
Italy’s head coach Luciano Spalletti prepares to take a training session. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
A Germany fan. Photograph: Ralf Hirschberger/AFP/Getty Images
Scotland fans arrive at Olympiapark in Munich. Photograph: Jasmin Walter/UEFA/Getty Images
A view inside the Munich Football Arena before the opening ceremony. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA
Italy’s Federico Chiesa gives a thumbs-up after a press conference. Photograph: Claudio Villa/Getty Images for FIGC
Share

Updated at 

From 100 days ago, here is Jonathan Liew on the poor organisation and other problems in Germany that hampered the buildup to Euro 2024:

“The greatest myth Germany ever sold the world was its own efficiency. Virtually everything here closes on a Sunday. Most small shops only accept cash. Companies still communicate by fax. Even the simplest administrative tasks drown in the weight of their own absurd bureaucracy. When I was finally granted German residency – a process that took almost a year, required four appointments with various government agencies and the services of a notary – I was informed, by post, that I could access my permit online by downloading an app. The instructions for downloading the app arrived several weeks later, also by post. The app did not work.”

Share

Updated at 

If it’s political, don’t feel compelled to answer, but I don’t understand the photo showing Che Guevara on the Scotland flag,” emails Joe Pearson. “But then again, I’m from the Midwest, so there’s probably something obvious I’m missing.”

Look closer and you’ll see the flag says “Che Macguevera”, which is an admittedly not-very-good homage to … er … Callum McGregor?

Scotland’s Callum McGregor. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

Germany fans answered coach Julian Nagelsmann’s call to “please be loud” on Friday, descending on Munich’s medieval Marienplatz in their thousands to party with Scotland supporters before the opening match of Euro 2024.

Scottish fans clad in kilts have dominated the city centre for the last few days, playing bagpipes, chanting and endearing themselves to the locals, but Germany fans emerged to join the excitement.

“I’m really happy it is getting started now and I am sure there will be a great atmosphere. I think there will only be a few times that Germany hosts a tournament like this, so we need to make the absolute most of it,” said Benny Kuehnel, 32, a software developer from Stuttgart.

Jutta Huelsheger, 54, had travelled across Germany to be in the Munich fan zone in the city’s Olympic Park for the opening game. Eight hours ahead of kick off, it was a struggle to find a spot in front of the giant screen by a lake. The fan zone will hold 25,000 spectators. “I wanted to be here for the opening game, to absorb all the atmosphere and joy. I’m amazed at how full it is already,” she said.

Scotland supporters are having a right old time of it in Munich. Photograph: Michaela Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Germany have won four World Cups and three European Championships but their stellar tournament reputation has been somewhat tarnished by 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 more than 80 years, and exited the last Euros in the round of 16. Fans are desperate for a fresh start and some new hope.

Fabian Schroeder, a 33-year-old engineer, strolled through the fan zone in a Germany football shirt and a red kilt. “This is to create good relations,” he said. Asked if he thought Germany might relive the party atmosphere it enjoyed when hosting the 2006 World Cup, he said: “I hope so. The country needs it.”

Mention that tournament and many Germans get misty eyed, recalling a summer of sunshine and an unprecedented freedom to wave their national flags and explore their identity as a relatively newly reunified country. The World Cup triggered a wave of support for the Germany team that reached the semi-finals, with millions packing into the fan zones set up across the country every evening.

Scottish fans praised their German hosts. “We’ve had a really great time so far. The Germans have been very friendly,” said Duncan Kellock, 70, from Alva near Stirling in Scotland. “I don’t think you can find a better host country,” said Robert Holland, a 52-year-old solicitor from Edinburgh. (Reuters)

Share

Updated at 

The lineup tomorrow is as follows:

Hungary v Switzerland (2pm BST)
Spain v Croatia (5pm)
Italy v Albania (8pm)

Below are all the relevant teams guides, so you can get to grips with the teams, and impress friends and acquaintances with your in-depth knowledge:

Spain’s social media team have helpfully posted their match dates in Group B.

Croatia tomorrow (5pm), Italy (!!?) next Thursday, 8pm, Albania on Monday 24 June.

Gosh, that’s a spicy group. Isn’t this all very exciting?

Share

Updated at 

Kate Connolly

Kate Connolly

From roof top lounges to city meadows, most famously the so-called ‘Fanmeile’ at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, spots which Germans refer to simply as ‘Public Viewing’ have sprung up across the country, from where fans can watch the Euros on large screens. Accompanied by kiosks serving beer and sausages, they are popular during tournaments even with non-football fans, and create an atmosphere which has become one of the major success stories of German football.

Perhaps one of the most unusual Public Viewing spaces though, and attractive to those who might find the regular meeting points a little rowdy, is in Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, or Memorial Church, on Breitcheid Platz, where musicians will accompany tonight’s opening match – one, on the organ, the other on the piano – in what has been dubbed an ‘Organ Duel’. Sebastian Heindl, representing Germany, will interpret the match as it happens, on the organ, whilst Briton Jack Day, will do the same on the piano, representing Scotland. At half time the musicians will swap instruments.

“Deeper, stormy tones will denote the drama on the pitch, lighter ones dribbling or bell-like tones for the referee’s whistle,” Heindl said in an interview with German media. “If Germany is in possession of the ball, I’ll be playing, if Scotland, Jack will take over”.

The project was inspired by the era of silent film when organists used to accompany film projections, sometimes with a pre-arranged score, sometimes playing off the cuff.

The Memorial Church, under the slogan: “Welcome in Blue”, a reference to its large trademark blue stained glass windows, hopes to be a refuge from the hurly burly of the Euros. “We hope to be a place where fans can come who need a bit of peace and quiet, where they can light a candle, or say a prayer,” a spokesperson said.

Tickets for the Organ Duel are free, and can be reserved here.

A view of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church in Berlin. Photograph: JLImages/Alamy
Share

Updated at 

As mentioned below, a little while back:

Denmark’s male footballers have decided to refuse a pay rise for playing for the national team in order to ensure their female counterparts get equal basic pay, the global players’ union Fifpro said on Friday.

Share

Updated at 

If you were wondering what time it will be in Delhi when Italy kick off against Albania tomorrow, the answer is midnight.

Italy’s linchpin midfielder Nicolò Barella is likely to be available for the champions’ opener at Euro 2024 against Albania tomorrow after recovering from a minor injury, coach Luciano Spalletti said. Asked about Barella’s fitness following a muscle problem, Spalletti said he came through a training session on Thursday with no problems.

“Yesterday he did everything,” the former Napoli coach said, adding the squad were due to hold a light training session on Friday. “We will see what happens today. We will see how he feels,” he said, adding that the medical team had to be careful given Barella’s recent problems. “But as of yesterday evening, everything suggests that he will be available.”

Barella was at the heart of Internazional’s Serie A-winning team last season and was a key member of the Italy side that won Euro 2020. But he missed Italy’s final two friendlies before this year’s tournament with a muscle strain.

Gianluigi Donnarumma. Photograph: Christof Köpsel/UEFA/Getty Images

Italy will also face Spain and Croatia in what looks like the toughest group , putting pressure on the Azzurri to get all three points in Dortmund.

“The first game is always important and we have two games later that are difficult,” Italy goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Donnarumma said. “A win tomorrow gives us a bit more peace of mind.”

Nearly half of Albania’s squad members play in Italy’s Serie A league, meaning they would be well prepared, Donnarumma added. “They are very, very fast,” he said. “We must be careful not to get stretched because they are very good on the counterattack.” (Reuters)

Pickford: nothing would make England prouder than lifting trophy

Jordan Pickford just had a chat with the media before England’s opener against Serbia.

[Staying up with Everton was a] big relief … you learn from those experiences … you’ve got lads here, for instance Jude Bellingham, who’s just won the Champions League … those experiences all blend together to help make you successful at a big tournament.”

Was he worried about losing his England place, in view of Everton’s relegation battle? “I always think – how can I get better? It’s always great to have competition. That makes me want to improve. I want to keep pushing forward. They [the other keepers] need to chase me. There’s a lot of good goalkeepers in the setup.

England have kept two clean sheets in seven games: is that a problem? “We’ve played some top opponents. [And Iceland. Ed.] Clean sheets are key to win the tournaments. For us it’s about getting as many clean sheets as we can … we’ll be ready come Sunday.”

Next a question about Harry Kane being the leading scorer in England’s history: “Harry is an example for us to look at,” Pickford says. “Season by season with his club, the goals he scores, and with England … it’s the example we need. In training it’s not nice for a goalkeeper, but it’s playing with the best.”

And next, an inquiry about being one of the leading appearance-makers for England in goal, along with the likes of Peter Shilton and David Seaman: “I just keep focusing on myself. It’s nice to be up there with them sort of legends of goalkeepers … it’s wearing this shirt with pride.”

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

How does he relax away from training and playing? “The setup is always good. We’ve got a couple of golf courses [at the hotel], and I like my golf.

“Table tennis, dart board … there’s lots of things to do and we all have a bit of craic.

On Sunday’s oppenents Serbia: “[Aleksandar] Mitrovic is a quality player. We’ve got to be ready for them … each individual role, we’ve got to be at our best and keep them at bay.

What about Dusan Vlahovic? “He’s a top player. Two individuals in a very good side. We need to take the game on and get a result.

Who is the best goalie in the world? “There’s a few. [Thibaut] Courtois has had a big injury. Before that I’d say he was the best. You can take your pick. Everyone’s different. Whoever you prefer.”

And finally: a message to the fans? “That’s our goal [winning the trophy]. But you know, the most important thing for us is to win the first game, get out of the group, focus on each game as it comes … it takes a lot of hard work … nothing would make me prouder than lifting that trophy – but you can’t look too far ahead.

“All the England fans will be rooting for us and I know they will have a good few days on the booze. So that’ll be good.”

Share

Updated at 

Jordan Pickford is having a chat now. The England goalkeeper.

Thanks John. Funnily enough my Glastonbury ticket arrived yesterday – along with a polling card for the general election. Fair play to the postman, he’s delivered in a big way there.

See you down the front for Coldplay, yes?

Right, that’s Luke McLaughlin back in the chair, with the hippest sounds.

Play this song in a German disco and it goes off…I’m told. You may remember it as the theme to multilingual crossover TV hit Deutschland ‘83 from a few years back.

Here’s a TV appearance from Peter Schilling (not Bowie). Some great music awaits visitors to Germany; it’s not all lager and schlager.

Denmark’s men refuse pay hike to ensure equal pay

Per Reuters – Denmark’s male footballers have decided to refuse a pay rise for playing for the national team in order to ensure their female counterparts get equal basic pay.

The national football association (DBU) had been looking to ensure equal pay for both teams but players from both squads were not in favour of taking money from the men’s team to pay the women. The players’ union, Spillerforeningen, and the men’s players instead came up with a plan under which the men would refuse a pay rise and both teams would receive the same basic remuneration for appearing for the national side.

A 15 percent decrease in the men’s team insurance coverage also allowed them to upgrade the women’s team coverage by 50 percent as well as that of the Under-21 men’s team by more than 40%. The new four-year agreement with the DBU will come into effect after the European Championship.

“The men’s team chose not to demand any changes in the conditions in their new agreement,” Spillerforeningen’s director Michael Sahl Hansen said in a statement. “It’s an extraordinary step to help improve the conditions of the women’s national teams. So, instead of looking for better conditions for themselves, the players thought about supporting the women’s team. When we presented the plan to the negotiations team, which consisted of Andreas Christensen, Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel, they were very happy.”

The plan also includes the players and the DBU jointly creating a clubhouse which can be used by all national teams – men, women and youth teams – as well as a development fund.

Denmark’s men’s players made their pledge ahead of their Euros kick-off against Slovenia on Sunday. Photograph: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images
Share

Updated at 

Euro 2024 Daily is here, the web version available on weekdays.

You can sign up here.

News from Munich, where it’s all getting a bit packed out.

Authorities in Munich now asking fans to stay away from Marienplatz due to overcrowding. No giant screens there to watch the match tonight. Officials want Scotland fans to spread out across the city. Olympic Park fanzone now also full. #euro2024 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

— Chris McLaughlin (@BBCchrismclaug) June 14, 2024

URGENT!!! The #Marienplatz is overcrowded. There will definitely be no public viewing there. Please spread out elsewhere in the city! The fan zone is also about to close. Please don’t go to the Olympiapark anymore! #uefaeuro2024 #munich #GERSCO

— München (@muenchen) June 14, 2024

Share

Updated at 

The defending champions: in case you forgot, are Italy. A new-look team, too, with Luciano Spalletti, not a fan of consoles, an old-school operator, as their coach. Nicky Bandini, as ever, will be keeping a watchful eye on the Azzurri.

Share

Updated at 

Off-piste news: Frank Lampard is bookies’ favourite for the Sunderland vacancy, a job that might have gone to Danny Röhl, had he not signed a new contract to stay at Sheffield Wednesday. Both will be doing UK punditry during the Euros.

Good afternoon, all. It’s now just six and a half hours to go until we can say we are in full Euros mode – three games a day dawns.

I’m off for a bit of lunch: John Brewin is here to take the reins.

Barney Ronay

Barney Ronay

“We will be United In The Heart Of Europe. Over four weeks.” Looking back, it was probably wise of Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, to add that neat little disclaimer while announcing the official slogan of Euro 2024, to dial back just a touch the tournament’s contractual peace, love and unity obligations.

Three years on from the big unveil in Munich, Uefa is still out there shunning (some) despots, eradicating intolerance everywhere (apart from in major European football leagues) and reaching out with a single trembling hand, Michael Jackson-style, to lower the rifle barrel of the nearest infantryman. But only, let’s be clear on this, for the next four weeks. And we will have to insist everyone promises to keep their eyes fixed on the screen and closes their ears to the noises through the wall.

Six years and 239 qualifying matches in the making, carbon-light but still undeniably grand, Euro 2024 is finally upon us. And it is hard not to drool just a little at the prospect of 51 games in 31 days, a stage for eight of the top-10-ranked teams in the world, to lose yourself in the sound and light of a proper, non-plague-ridden European Championship for the first time since France 2016.

Share

Updated at 

Don’t forget to check out our comprehensive guide to each and every player at Euro 2024:

It must be time to mention France. Bien sur. How are they shaping up? Not actually that well, according to Luke Entwistle:

Les Bleus approach a tournament in which they are one of the favourites disjointed and in search of fluidity. Kylian Mbappé sounded the alarm after a 2-0 loss against Germany in March. “There are lots of warnings: technically, tactically, in terms of desire and even efficiency too,” said the captain, adding that the “leadership” was “deficient”. Not exactly the serene buildup France would have hoped for, but they have known worse. The defeat by Germany came in the absence of Antoine Griezmann; without him, Didier Deschamps’ men looked lost, and the over-reliance on individuals is a concern.

Uefa look well set to score a home run with these Euros … meanwhile, over at football’s world governing body:

Fifa is set to leave offices at the prestigious Hôtel de la Marine in Paris after only three years and relocate its bureau to smaller premises in the French capital after staff numbers dropped by more than half, the Guardian understands.

Share

Updated at 

I’m starting to feel jealous of everyone heading to Munich today. I covered two Scotland matches at last year’s Rugby World Cup, v Tonga in Nice and Romania in Lille. The atmosphere in Nice was fantastic, in particular, and this is going to turn it right up to 11.

Scotland fans let off flares at Marienplatz. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA
Share

Updated at 

I am at the game in Munich tonight and we will get pumped but I can attest to the unbelievable atmosphere and great camaraderie between the fans,” emails Colin.

“The big one for me is next week in Cologne. I am 28 years living in Switzerland and have also been Swiss for 21 of them. I suppose I cannae lose. Hopp Schottland!”

Scotland v Switzerland, clearly a crunch encounter in Group A, takes place next Wednesday. Good luck Colin!

Scotland fan. Beer. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA
Share

Updated at 

Just off a flight from London to Munich,” emails Svein. “Packed plane of kilt-bedecked Scots save for a group of six English lads on a stag do, the groom dressed up in a St George’s flag. He tried to start a chant about Scotland going home from the tournament early. He was given short, yet jovial, shrift – and then bought a whisky.”

A German police officer sizes up a kilt-wearing Scotland fan. Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images
Share

Updated at 

Just look at these scenes.

Germany and Scotland fans are partying in Munich. Photograph: Leonhard Simon/Reuters
Bagpipes. There must be bagpipes. Photograph: Leonhard Simon/Reuters
Football brings people together. Along with large quantities of beer. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA
Scotland fans at Marienplatz. Let’s go! Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA

I’m in the fortunate position of being German by nature, but Scottish by association (and citizenship test), having moved from the Saarland to Glasgow 20 years ago,” emails Ursula.

“Which means my team will definitely win tonight (and my other team will lose at the same time … it’s going to be emotional).

“I’m planning to celebrate the inevitable in style with Bratwurst, Kartoffelsalat, and (alcohol-free) Erdinger.

“‘Mon the Germans and the Scots!”

Scotland and Germany fans at Marienplatz in Munich. Not drinking alcohol-free lager. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA

Let’s refocus on tonight’s showdown in Munich, kicking off at 8pm BST / 9pm CET.

The Germany team guide is here:

And here is Oliver Fritsch on Nagelsmann’s Gundogan puzzle:

The Scotland guide, meanwhile, is here:

Are there any Scotland fans out there who want to get in touch on email? Get in touch, especially if you’re out there in Germany.

Share

Updated at 





READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.