Soccer-Lost phone returned with smiling surprise as Scotland-Germany love-in blossoms


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group A - Germany v Scotland - Munich Football Arena, Munich, Germany - June 14, 2024 Germany fans pose with a replica trophy outside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Michaela Stache/File Photo

STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - When you lose your phone abroad you hardly expect to get it back, let alone with a smiling selfie on it from the good-natured rival supporters who handed it in to the police.

But that's exactly what happened to a Scotland fan in Germany who was reunited with his lost phone and discovered a pleasant surprise in the camera roll, the latest entreaty in a blossoming love-in between the two countries.

Thousands of Scottish fans have made the long journey to the Euros, in their kilts and sporrans, and have endeared themselves to their hosts with their infectious enthusiasm and 24-hour carousing.

Where once German city centres would have the sound of an oom-pah band echoing through the streets, now it's the skirl of bagpipes ringing out along with deafening chants of "No Scotland, no party".

"Kieran left his phone in a portaloo. These Germany fans found it, took a selfie, then handed it into the police. He has his phone back. What a country," supporters' body the Tartan Army Group posted on X on Thursday alongside the picture of the five smiling fans.

The two nations may not be famous for their bilateral relations, though there is a connection that dates all the way back to William Wallace's letters to the Hanseatic League in 1297.

However, there are now calls for a new special relationship to be formed in Europe.

"And we definitely need you guys back in the EU! We'll always leave a light on for you!," a German poster wrote underneath the Tartan Army Group post.

"I didn't know that the Germany-Scotland-Love is what I needed. Please don‘t ever leave, Scots!," another wrote, adding: "Can we build a direct tunnel? Or a gigantic bridge?"

"There's something special between Scotland and Germany, I don't know why, or what it is, but I can feel it," said another post.

The Scotland fans have not just been confined to cities where the team is playing, with many spread across the country simply happy to soak in the atmosphere - and indeed the beer.

"Dear Scots, these have been a wonderful couple of days with you. I could not be a happier mayor. You are always welcome to Cologne," Henriette Reker, mayor of Cologne, said on X.

The Tartan Army descends on Stuttgart as Scotland hope to extend their stay in Germany with a win against Hungary on Sunday. No doubt they'll now have the locals cheering them on, as well.

(This story has been refiled to fix a typo in paragraph 9)

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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