Soccer-Germany can beat pressure and Scotland in Euro 2024 opener says Nagelsmann

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - International Friendly - Germany v Greece - Borussia Park, Moenchengladbach, Germany - June 7, 2024 Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said Scotland are a dangerous team who will aim to take advantage of the pressure the hosts are under when they meet in Friday's Euro 2024 opener, but he sees self belief in his players and hunger for success.

"Scotland isn't a team full of world stars, but that makes them dangerous, because they are very agile players who give everything, with classic Scottish mentality," he told a press conference on Thursday.

While Germany do feel the pressure and tension ahead of the tournament's opening game, that was necessary, Nagelsmann added, and the team is fully fit and prepared.

"When I look in my players' eyes ... I see a lot of belief and a lot of confidence, which is what I want ... we have the home advantage, we want to win."

"We can beat pressure, and we can beat Scotland as well."

Germany have won four World Cups and three European Championship titles but their stellar tournament reputation has been somewhat tarnished with a series of failures since their 2014 World Cup victory in Brazil.

They went out of the next two World Cups in the group stage, their worst showing in over 80 years, and exited the last Euros in the round of 16.

"We will have more pressure on us than Scotland and they will want to capitalise on that," said Nagelsmann, who took over as Germany manager in October 2023.

Scotland can create chances and retain ball possession and will put the Germany defence under stress in the Group A match. "We have to stay focused to avoid crosses," he added.

Nagelsmann said he was feeling emotional ahead of the match, describing how he comes from a tiny village with 700 inhabitants and more cows than people, and now was preparing for the opening game of Euro 2024 in Munich.

Germany captain Ilkay Gundogan said Nagelsmann gave the players clarity and conveyed a sense of calm which had helped the team.

"The coach gives us confidence, a clear direction, he has discussed roles with us ... everyone knows what is expected of them and can give their all on the pitch, and that helps us a great deal after the negative experiences of the last tournaments.

"No other game is like the first one, because then you can use that momentum and that euphoria for the next few games, and that is why the most important objective tomorrow is to win the game," he said.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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