Only a small proportion of Germans believe the 2006 summer football fairytale will be repeated at the home European Championship next summer.

In a representative survey carried out by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the German Press Agency, five percent of those surveyed said “yes, definitely” that they expected the same upbeat mood. Twelve percent could partially imagine it. The 2024 European Championship groups will be drawn today in Hamburg.

Just 65 percent of those surveyed said they did not or definitely did not expect another summer fairy tale like the home World Cup almost 18 years ago. 17 percent did not provide any information. The term was once coined in reference to the peaceful atmosphere of tens of thousands of fans from abroad, continued good weather and the sporting success of the DFB team’s third-place finish in 2006.

Deep sports crisis

The current national team under the leadership of Julian Nagelsmann has been in a deep sports crisis for many years. At the last two World Championships with Nagelsmann’s predecessors Joachim Löw (2018) and Hansi Flick (2022) were eliminated after the preliminary round; at the 2021 European Championship, the DFB selection with Löw barely reached the 1/8 finals, in which England (0-2) were too strong.

“The truth will come in the summer,” said DFB sporting director Rudi Völler during a sponsorship meeting in Hamburg. Until then, the force of public opinion must be tolerated, said the former DFB team boss.

Socio-political significance of EVs

The home European Championship starts under the motto “United by Football”. Tournament director Philipp Lahm, who scored the first goal of the tournament against Germany against Costa Rica in 2006, has recently repeatedly emphasized the socio-political significance of the European Championship.

He believes that “a tournament like this can help people get together again, talk to each other and celebrate,” the 2014 world champion told Deutschlandfunk’s “Players – The Sports Podcast.” “And that we defend what we have: freedom, peaceful coexistence, democracy.” (dpa/af)
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