Euro 2024 teams distributed over 4 levels (Getty Images)

Football fans are awaiting the draw for the Euro 2024 finals, which Germany will host from June 14 to July 14, scheduled for Saturday in the northern city of Hamburg, Germany's second-largest city.

The event marks the start of the countdown to the 3 teams that have qualified so far alongside hosts Germany, in addition to <> additional teams that will join them in March in the play-offs.

🇩🇪❄️ #EURO2024

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) December 1, 2023

The Euro 2024 teams were distributed at 4 levels as follows:

  • First level: Germany (host), Portugal, France, Spain, Belgium, England.

Such a clean strike from Youssouf Fofana 🇫🇷😮 💨 #EURO2024

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 24, 2023

  • Second level: Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Denmark, Albania, Austria.
  • Third level: Netherlands, Scotland, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czechia.
  • Level IV: Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, Play-off I winner, play-off II winner, third play-off winner.

France, runners-up of the last World Cup, and England, the second of the last edition of the continental tournament, are among the most prominent candidates to compete for the title, due to the high level with which the two teams have shown recently, and the presence of stars from the first row such as: Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann in France, and top scorer Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham in England.

😲 #EURO2024

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) December 1, 2023


The pressure will be high on Gareth Southgate's Three Lions after reaching the final for the first time in their history in 2021 and losing the final at home at Wembley Stadium in London to Italy on penalties.

Southgate, who led England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, also touched on the pressure his team face to win their first major trophy since their country hosted the 1966 World Cup: "I think we have to accept that (pressure)."

"The pressure comes when expectations are different from reality, and the reality is that we will be one of the teams capable of winning."

Spain and Portugal

Spain are one of the teams to be reckoned with at Euro 2014, especially after winning the UEFA Nations League for the first time in their history this year, following a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Croatia in the final.

CR7 💥🇵🇹 #EURO2024

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) December 1, 2023

Portugal, led by their all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, are also not insignificant, not far from winning Euro 2016.

Portugal were also crowned champions of the first edition of the UEFA Nations League in 2019.

Happy birthday to 2019 Nations League winner and goalscorer in the final, Gonçalo Guedes! 🥳🇵🇹 #EURO2024

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 29, 2023

Germany's suffering

Germany, who have been without the title since the 1996 edition in England, are in crisis after losing six of their 6 matches since their second consecutive World Cup exit in the group stage last year.

These results cost Hansie Flick his position at the head of the technical staff of "De Mannschaft", but things did not improve with the new coach Julian Nagelsmann, who suffered two defeats in 4 games against a victory and a draw.

Nagelsmann told local media after the recent 2-0 defeat in Austria: "We have a lot of work to do in every position."

EURO 2020 📸 #EURO2024

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 30, 2023

Italy in the fourth tier

As always, there are dangerous teams that are not in the first level, most notably the Netherlands, who won the title in 1988 in Germany, in the third level, and Italy, the defending champions, in the fourth level.

After failing to qualify for the last two World Cups, Italy managed to seal qualification this time after a hard-fought goalless draw with Ukraine in their last match.

The first-level teams naturally wish to avoid falling into these two teams, although the system of the next tournament mitigated the risks of early exit for the big teams, as the first and second of each of the six groups will reach the second round, in addition to the best 4 teams that finished third.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma said after the draw with Ukraine: "After all the difficulties we faced, we will be in Germany, we will go there as champions, we will go there to win."

Szoboszlai 😮 💨🇭🇺 #EURO2024

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) December 1, 2023

"A fairy tale of summer"

The level of the host nation is a real concern and threatens Germany's hopes that the tournament will become another "summer fairy tale", the way the country remembers the 2006 World Cup.

However, football fans across the continent will be keen to make the most of a return to the classic format of the continental tournament, which is held in one country after the last tournament was held in 11 different countries across the continent.

The latest edition was also marred by travel and attendance restrictions due to the Covid pandemic.

Fans will flock to the 10 host cities across the country, from Berlin and Hamburg in the north, to Munich in the south and Dortmund in the heart of the Ruhr industrial district.

Germany will play the opening match of the tournament in Munich on June 14, while the 70,14-seat Olympic Stadium in Berlin will host the final on July <>.

8 games 👉 14 goals

Romelu Lukaku breaking the record for the most goals in a single EURO qualifying campaign ⚽ #EQtopscorer | @Alipay

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 24, 2023

Source : Al Jazeera + French