Germany feel pressure but privileged to play home tournament, says Kroos

The Germans kick off the tournament on Friday with their opening Group A match against Scotland in Munich

By Reuters

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Germany midfielder Toni Kroos attends a training session at the team's training camp in Herzogenaurach. — AFP
Germany midfielder Toni Kroos attends a training session at the team's training camp in Herzogenaurach. — AFP

Published: Tue 11 Jun 2024, 8:39 PM

Germany feel pressure to deliver as hosts of Euro 2024 but the team should feel privileged to play a major tournament on home soil, midfielder Toni Kroos said on Tuesday.

The Germans kick off the tournament on Friday with their opening Group A match against Scotland in Munich before also playing Hungary and Switzerland.


The 34-year-old Kroos, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid on June 1 and will retire from football following the Euros, said there was pressure for the hosts to do well after a decade without any major international title.

But he urged his teammates to enjoy what is a rare occasion for most professional footballers, a major tournament in their own country. "Basically at every tournament on home soil (there is pressure). It is even more special," Kroos told a press conference.


"You get feedback instantly, the positive and the negative. We have a big responsibility for the atmosphere in the country for the next few weeks. 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," he said.

The Germans, four-times world champions and three-times European champions, have not tasted major international success since winning the 2014 World Cup.

Their disappointing run in recent years, including two consecutive first round exits at World Cups in 2018 and 2022, have seen more than one in four Germans not showing an interest in the Euros, a recent poll showed.

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

Apart from their early World Cup exits, Germany were also eliminated in the Round of 16 in the previous Euros in 2021.

"You know what is possible when you see the squad quality we have. But we also see that during some phases in matches there is room for improvement," the midfielder said.

Germany played out a goalless draw against Ukraine before needing an 89th minute goal to snatch a 2-1 comeback win over Greece in their final two warm-up matches last week.

"There is no better opportunity to show in a tournament that we can play well," said Kroos.

"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."

"These phases where we have problems, because there are teams coming (at the tournament) that will punish us and then the tournament is over," he said.

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