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‘Not a group of death’: Struggling Germany welcome Euro 2024 draw

Struggling hosts Germany welcomed the outcome of Saturday’s Euro 2024 draw, coach Julian Nagelsmann saying “it’s not a group of death, but a very good one” after his side were placed with Switzerland, Scotland and Hungary. 

The Germans will open the tournament against Scotland in Munich on June 14, before facing 1954 World Cup final opponents Hungary in Stuttgart on June 19. 

Germany will play their final Group A match against Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23, with the two neighbouring countries never having faced each other at the Euro. 

Three-time European champions Germany have come into the tournament in poor form. 

Qualified as hosts, Germany have won just three of 11 matches since a second successive World Cup group stage exit last year in Qatar. 

In September, Hansi Flick became the first national coach in Germany history to be fired, replaced by Nagelsmann, who has won just one of four games in charge. 

Sporting director Rudi Voeller, instrumental in the decision to replace Flick, recognised Germany needed to improve but was “optimistic” his side could produce the goods on home soil.

“We certainly still have problems, but I am firmly convinced Julian Nagelsmann will solve them,” Voeller said in Hamburg after the draw was completed. 

“If we work on a few things in the coming months, I am optimistic that we will play a good European Championship.” 

“That first game always has a special type of pressure,” added the 1990 World Cup winner. 

Nagelsmann called the group “an interesting one in which we want to prevail”. 

“It will be a very nice start against Scotland… the other games will be exciting duels. 

“I have coached a few players from Hungary, I know what they can do. Hungary plays very interesting football. Against Switzerland it will be a little derby against a direct neighbour.”

Former Chelsea and Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Ballack, who scored 42 goals in 98 games for Germany, agreed with Nagelsmann. 

“It’s not a group of death. We’re the favourites with home advantage.

“Scotland is our first opponent and we know exactly what to expect. The two other games will be more difficult in my opinion.”

Scotland manager Steve Clarke said the group was “evenly balanced” and “will be competitive”, while warning Germany “will have to be ready for a lot of Scotsmen to come”.

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