DFB team lifts mood at European Football Championship 2024 with victory over Scotland

DFB team lifts mood at European Football Championship 2024 with victory over Scotland

The first cheers were heard in the Munich football arena on Friday evening, when the kick-off of the 17th European Championship was still a long way off. The European Football Union, as the organizer, showed the highlights of past tournaments on the video walls under the stadium roof. When Italy scored in the 2021 final, the Scottish fans cheered loudly about the defeat of their big neighbors from England, and later even louder when their team’s goals were played at the pan-European European Championship three years ago. The atmospheric setting for the overture was set.

In the hours before, tens of thousands of Scots who loved to travel, sing and drink had already dominated Munich, so that some people probably thought they were in a place called St Mary’s Square rather than Marienplatz. The German colors and jerseys, whether black, red, gold or pink and purple, were clearly in the minority, the bagpipes dominated the sound. “It feels like most of the country’s inhabitants are here,” said Scotland captain Andy Robertson, impressed, before the match. Not everyone made it to the arena in the north, but the “Tartan Army” still dominated the atmosphere at first.

There could hardly have been a better mood-lifter for this chilly June evening than having the Scots as Germany’s sparring partner. The team was a far too lightweight opponent, but the fans put on a spectacle that gets us excited for the next four weeks, even if the Scots have to leave much sooner, which is a likely scenario after the 1:5 defeat to the German national team. But the enthusiasm was contagious for everyone, even the German spectators who are usually rather quiet at international matches and have a small repertoire of songs.

Silent greeting by hand kiss

The spectators experienced a moment of goosebumps when the European Championship trophy was brought into the stadium. Usually this is a standard part of a ceremony, but in this case it was more than that. In addition to the German European champion captains Bernard Dietz (1980) and Jürgen Klinsmann (1996), Heidi Beckenbauer, widow of the European Championship captain of the German team of 1972, who died in early January, came to the arena where the moving memorial service for her Franz had taken place. As she left the field, she kissed his hand and sent a silent, emotional greeting to heaven.

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The cheerful mood – even the Scots celebrated themselves and their team without ceasing despite the clear defeat – continued through the furious opening victory late in the evening. The national coach could be seen in a warm embrace with his girlfriend, Niclas Füllkrug took his little daughter, who was sitting on his shoulders, with him on the lap of celebration in the stadium. “We all got a little message from the family, which is very valuable,” said Julian Nagelsmann, revealing a little about the special motivation that the players had received before the opening game.

“Support from my partner and my whole family is extremely important,” he said. At the first training camp in Blankenhain at the end of May, he allowed relatives to spend the first few days of preparation with their loved ones. Füllkrug later spoke emotionally about the value of not only goals and victories for the national players, but also these experiences. “It was a small moment for us in which we created images that will last forever.”

Joshua Kimmich was also able to see and hear the enthusiasm that had gripped him that evening in the arena where he usually plays for FC Bayern. He said that the stadium seemed fuller than at Munich home games. “There were no empty stands, at Bayern some people don’t arrive until the tenth minute,” he said and laughed. He was also impressed by the Scottish fans: “That was really cool. That’s how it should be.” The team, he reported, had watched videos from the city during the day, which increased their enthusiasm for the evening’s program.

Opening win against ScotlandThe pictures of Germany’s dream start to the European Championship

Thomas Müller was also thrilled by the images from Munich, as well as what happened afterwards. “It’s not just a victory, it’s a football festival,” he said. “That means a lot to me in Munich.” He was able to enjoy it. “If we as footballers can make our contribution in the spirit of our national pride, that we naturally want Germany to win, then it’s a perfect evening for us. We want to keep going like this.” It seems as if the party has only just begun.

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