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It’s the big day. This Friday evening, at the Allianz Arena in Munich, the Germany-Scotland match opens the grand celebration of Euro 2024. The organizers are fully prepared to welcome the fans who are already arriving in large numbers. In the ten host cities, the festivities have already started.

A few hours before kick-off, the heart of Germany has begun to beat to the rhythm of Euro 2024. The cream of European football will gather from June 14 to July 14 in Germany for the grand event that excites the crowds and captures attention from all corners of the world. Twenty-four teams will participate in this competition, playing 51 matches with a known goal in mind: to dethrone the reigning champions, the Squadra Azzurra.

The pressure is beginning to mount, especially for Germany, which has experienced a ten-year drought, a real black hole for this great footballing nation. The first match against Scotland, Friday in Munich, is crucial for the Mannschaft, both mentally and sportingly.

Final before the final

That said, the attraction of the first round will be elsewhere. The clash between Italy and Spain, a rematch of the Euro 2012 final won by La Roja, the Euro 2016 round of 16 in favor of the Nazionale, and the Euro 2021 semi-final once again victorious for the Italians, will take place on June 20 in Gelsenkirchen. Despite some doubts about their form, the Azzurri remain formidable competitors. A real final before the final, this match is already the main attraction of the group stage.

Behind the two leading European football nations (3 titles for Spain, 2 for Italy), Croatia, led by its tireless midfield genius Luka Modric, will also want to have its say. Albania will struggle to exist, even though it dominated its qualifying group at the expense of the Czech Republic, forcing Robert Lewandowski’s Poland into the playoffs.

If they qualify after the two matches scheduled for March 21 and 26, the Poles could make France’s Group D even more complicated than it already is. Kylian Mbappé and his team have indeed drawn the Netherlands, whom they have beaten twice during the qualifying phase, and Austria for their entry into the competition.

Also favored in this Euro, England with Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham will meet Denmark on June 20 in Frankfurt, in a remake of the Euro 2021 semi-final narrowly won by the Three Lions in extra time. They should have more room against Slovenia and Serbia.

The third European powerhouse, due to its record (European champion in 2016) and impeccable qualifying campaign (10 wins in 10 matches), Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo was spared by the draw. They will face the Czech Republic, Turkey, and a playoff team from Path C, which includes the weakest teams (Georgia, Luxembourg, Greece, or Kazakhstan).

Germany at the crossroads

Germany is a team in search of redemption. Since their triumph in 2014, the Germans have experienced a series of setbacks, including an early exit from the 2018 World Cup, another early exit in 2022, and a mediocre performance at Euro 2020. Despite a rich track record, Germany is going through a period of transition and reassessment. Needless to say, Mannschaft fans are eagerly watching.

Fortunately, the host country did well with a draw that reserved Scotland for the opening match. Germany will then follow with matches against Hungary and Switzerland.

“It will be a nice start in Munich against the Scots, and the other matches will also be exciting. It’s not a ‘group of death,’ but it’s a good group,” said Germany’s coach Julian Nagelsmann. But “Achtung” to overconfidence. Opening matches are known to be a trap for favorites. The history of major competitions attests to this. Coming out of a long period of qualifications and preparation, the teams are eager to get down to business on the field. The moment of truth is (finally) here.

All bets are off.

Let the party begin!

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