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Prize list, negative dynamics, Kroos...Five things to know about Germany, opponent of the Blues

Germany is neither more nor less than the most successful nation in the European Championships with Spain.

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Prize list, negative dynamics, Kroos...Five things to know about Germany, opponent of the Blues

Germany is neither more nor less than the most successful nation in the European Championships with Spain. Since the launch of the competition in 1960, the Mannschaft have lifted the trophy three times: in 1972 (West Germany) by easily winning the final against the Soviet Union (3-0), in 1980 ( West Germany) by beating Belgium to the wire in the final (2-1) and in 1996 by winning against the Czech Republic after extra time (2-1). It also lost three times in the final: against Czechoslovakia (West Germany) in 1976, against Denmark in 1992 and against Spain in 2008.

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Throughout their history, France and Germany have faced each other thirty-three times, both in continental and international competitions and in friendly matches. The record favors the Blues: fifteen wins, eleven defeats and seven draws. Among the most notable confrontations, we inevitably find the legendary semi-final of Euro 1982...lost by Michel Platini's French team (8-7 after penalties). We could also cite the semi-final of Euro 2016, won by Didier Deschamps and his men thanks to a double from Antoine Griezmann. “Grizou” is also the top scorer for France-Germany with five goals, one more than Just Fontaine.

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Euro 2024 is approaching and the host country is not at its best. While counting on Hansi Flick to lead the national team to the title this summer, Germany was forced to part ways with the former FC Bayern Munich coach last September due to (very) worrying results. To replace him, the German Football Federation (DFB) chose his successor on the Bavarian bench, the contested Julian Nagelsmann. The young coach managed to relaunch the Mannschaft with two victories against France (2-1) and the United States (1-3), respectively in September and October 2023. Except that since then, it has conceded a draw against the Mexico (2-2) before losing against Turkey (2-3) and Austria (2-0). Suffice to say that Ilkay Gündogan and his partners will be keen to put in a good match this Saturday, in Lyon, to restart a positive spiral before the European Championship.

Also read “Upset is a weak word”, how Nagelsmann shakes up the Mannschaft before challenging France

Good news for Germany. A little less than three years after retiring from international football - at the end of a catastrophic Euro 2021 for the Mannschaft - Toni Kroos is back in the selection. The 34-year-old midfielder, contacted by Julian Nagelsmann, returns with the desire to bring his experience and his qualities with a view to Euro 2024 at home: “I don't think I have to prove anything to whoever it is, but when the coach contacted me to see if I wanted to play in this tournament, I wondered if I was in a position to help the team. I asked myself the question and the answer is yes. The coach also thinks this is the case. This is how the decision was taken,” he explained at a press conference this week. Before showing his ambitions for this summer: “What interests me is to see if I can help Germany to have a better tournament at home than one might imagine given the last performance.” One thing is certain, with such an experienced and good player, Germany has strengthened drastically. The Blues could well notice this Saturday evening.

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It’s a real bolt from the blue. After a partnership dating back more than seventy years with Adidas, the German football federation announced this Thursday that it had signed a contract with equipment manufacturer Nike for the period 2027-2034. This decision caused an outcry in Germany right up to the highest levels of the state because the three-stripe brand is a German firm, unlike the comma brand. “I can hardly imagine the German jersey without the three stripes [...] I would have appreciated a little more local patriotism,” regretted Vice-Chancellor and Minister of the Economy Robert Habeck, of after a statement released this Friday by his ministry. For Health Minister Karl Lauterbacj, the choice of the American company is “a mistake”. He particularly deplored the fact that “trade destroys part of the homeland and a tradition”. To be continued.

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