Germany, the host of the European Football Championship, was in a happy group with Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland in the EURO 2024 draw. Reigning champion Italy was in the tough Group B with Spain, Croatia and Albania. The French, who were preferred by the bettors, were included in Austria’s Group D together with the Netherlands in the celebration draw held at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on Saturday and became the play-off opponent.
He plays with young star Jude Bellingham against England, Denmark, Slovenia and Serbia. Austria’s opponent in the qualifying group, Belgium, had a much easier time than the ÖFB team. The opponents are Romania, Slovakia and a rival from the Israel/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Ukraine/Iceland quartet. Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo will face Turkey, Czech Republic and play-off winner C (Georgia/Greece/Kazakhstan/Luxembourg) in what is likely to be his last major tournament in the preliminary round.
Germany and Scotland will play their opening match in Munich on June 14. The final will take place in Berlin on July 14. The top two teams from each group and the top four teams from the third-placed six advance to the round of 16.
German national coach Julian Nagelsmann reacted with satisfaction to the work of the lottery fairies. “It’s not a group of death, but there are no really bad opponents either,” Nagelsmann said. “This is an interesting group where we clearly want to distinguish ourselves.” DFB sporting director Rudi Völler wanted to be “honest”. “I’ll be honest: Of course there was a constellation of Netherlands and Italy in pots 3 and 4. If you get into a group with them, of course it’s a group called the hammer or the group of death, but we got out of that.”
The starting position can also be misleading for the home owner. Switzerland coach Murat Yak said, “Germany is definitely the favourite, you don’t need to look at the test matches.” “We know that Germany is a tournament team and they will definitely improve.” Völler emphasized: “We are not in a position to disrespect or underestimate our opponent. Those times are over now.”
Reigning champions Italy were far from lucky as they barely managed to qualify directly. Team principal Luciano Spalletti said against rivals Spain (2010 World Champion), Croatia (2018 Vice-Champion) “It could have gone better. We are going there with humility because we know that we have to make rapid progress now.” ) and Albania. You have strong competitors ahead of you, “but also the pride of being able to keep up with everyone.”
Spanish football magazine Marca said, “Spain is in the death group.” Someone with a deja vu character. Spain, Italy and Croatia were already in one group at the 2012 European Championship, and the Iberians and Italians emerged victorious. Four years later the Croatians took revenge on France, sending group winners Spain into a round of 16 duel with eventual winners Italy. In 2021, Spain beat Croatia 5-3 after extra time in the round of 16.
During the hour-long gala, star tenor Jonas Kaufmann and star violinist David Garrett performed in the Hamburg concert hall, and the draw was performed by eleven performers from various European champion countries. These included former greats such as Italy’s former star goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, Spaniard David Silva and Germany’s world champion Sami Khedira.
British comedian Daniel Jarvis later addressed the cause of the intermittent noise. Guests in the hall first heard a sound similar to a baby crying, and then heard a woman’s moaning. The sounds could also be heard on TV and in the UEFA broadcast.