Germany can win Euro 2024, DFB president says as training starts

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf attends a press conference, where the national team begins preparations for the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship. Christian Charisius/dpa
DFB President Bernd Neuendorf attends a press conference, where the national team begins preparations for the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship. Christian Charisius/dpa

Hosts Germany started final Euro 2024 preparations on Monday with a depleted squad amid confidence from the the nation's federation president Bernd Neuendorf that the team can lift the trophy.

"Like every team we want to achieve the maximum and believe that it is possible," Neuendorf told a news conference.

"We want to achieve that and the team radiates that. I'm very confident that we'll play a decent tournament and go very far."

Neuendorf was speaking in the eastern German town of Blankenhain where coach Julian Nagelsmann has gathered the players at a spa and golf resort for team building and training before a move to the Euro base camp in Herzogenaurach on Friday.

Triple champions Germany will play tune-up matches against Ukraine on June 3 and Greece for days later before opening the Euros on June 14 against Scotland. Hungary and Switzerland are their other group stage opponents at the month-long tournament in 10 German cities.

Germany are coming off poor showings at the last three major tournaments and modest results in 2023 but Nagelsmann appeared to have managed a turnaround with victories in March friendlies against France and the Netherlands.

Neuendorf said he had met with Nagelsmann and team director Rudi Völler on Sunday and stated "full faith in our sporting leadership" because "the team is put together well, there is a coherent concept."

Nagelsmann hopes to build on March success

Nagelsmann said he feels "a lot of anticipation" and doesn't "know what the pressure is doing to me yet. I haven't given it much thought yet, it's basically like an intense Champions League month with lots of different opponents in just a few days.

"I hope we can build on the training sessions from March and then I'm looking forward to this tournament."

A public training session was planned for later Monday in Jena.

Squad won't be complete until next week

Nagelsmann won't his full 27-strong squad available until next week, with only 15 training on Monday.

The coach said that the Bayer Leverkusen trio of Florian Wirtz, Robert Andrich and Jonathan Tah was to arrive on Wednesday after their Bundesliga and German Cup title celebrations.

Captain Ilkay Gündogan is to join the team the same day while his Barcelona team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen gets the week off and will join in Herzogenaurach.

Also not arriving until next week Tuesday are Toni Kroos and Antonio Rüdiger from Real Madrid and the Borussia Dortmund duo of Nico Schlotterbeck and Niclas Füllkrug as their teams contest the Champions League final on Saturday.

Next week's arrivals will miss the game against Ukraine but should feature in the final test against Greece.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is also absent due to a stomach bug, while Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, Aleksandar Pavlovic and David Raum were to train individually.

Nagelsmann has invited under-21 players Brajan Gruda and Rocco Reitz to train with the senior team as he expressed hope that "no one gets injured and that we have call up someone else" beforer having to submit his final squad of 26 by June 7.

Team building and social egagement

Also on Monday, veteran Thomas Müller and Chris Führich were involved in a social cause as they helped distribute food to people in need in Blankenhain.

Nagelsmann said the time in Blankenhain will include a day with the players' families on Tuesday, a visit from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Wednesday, and a visit to a special action police unit where according to Nagelsmann the players are to learn "to be there for each other."