Monday, June 17, 2024

´We have to enjoy this pressure´ – Kroos wants Germany to thrive on hosting Euro 2024

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jun 2024

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Toni Kroos urged Germany to embrace the “special” pressure of hosting Euro 2024, as Julian Nagelsmann’s side prepare to launch the tournament on Friday.

DFB will host their first major international tournament since the 2006 World Cup, where they finished third after losing to eventual champions Italy in the semi-finals.

Germany launch their campaign against Scotland at Munich Football Arena on Friday, while also facing Hungary and Switzerland in Group A.

And Kroos, who will retire from football after the tournament, wants his team-mates to enjoy the “great honour” of playing in their home event.

“At every tournament on home soil [there is pressure]. It is even more special,” the midfielder told reporters during a press conference.

“We know the pressure is there, we don’t want to brush it aside, but we have to enjoy this pressure. We want to influence the atmosphere positively, and we have to make amends for past tournaments.

“We know what this is about, but it is also a great honour and joy to play this tournament. How many players do get to play a home tournament?”

Germany are hoping for an upturn in fortunes in major tournaments after suffering back-to-back World Cup group-stage exits, while they were beaten by England in the round of 16 at Euro 2020.

Nagelsmann’s side have also endured mixed form in the lead-up to this tournament. Their final warm-up matches brought a goalless draw with Ukraine, and a narrow 2-1 victory over Greece.

Kroos knows the hosts need to up their game, but feels they have the perfect stage on which to address their form.

“You know what is possible when you see the squad quality we have,” he added. “But we also see that during some phases in matches, there is room for improvement.

“There is no better opportunity to show in a tournament that we can play well. That is the task.

“If we want to play a good role then it is inevitable that we must minimise these phases when we don’t play well as a team. There are teams coming [in the tournament] that will punish us and then the tournament is over.”

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