Hosts Germany look to legacy of 2006 'fairytale' at Euro 2024
HAMBURG, Germany -- Struggling on the field, Germany has declared their readiness for Euro 2024, with the hosts proudly reliant on the infrastructure put in place for the 2006 World Cup.
With full stadiums and excellent weather, the 2006 tournament showcased a unified Germany to the world and became dubbed the Summer Fairy Tale (Sommermaerchen) at home.
With just six-and-a-half months until the June 14 kickoff, the lead-up has been dominated by talk of the misfiring national side, who have won just three of 11 games in 2023.
While some fear an embarassing early exit on home soil, Germany has made their readiness to host the tournament a point of pride, albeit amid concerns about delays on the national rail network.
- 'The stadiums are there' -
With Germany boasting dozens of world-class venues, the hosts stated proudly that no new stadiums were built ahead of Euro 2024.
At a 'One Year to go' event in Berlin in June, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters "it is something special that everything does not have to be newly built".
"The stadiums are there."
The Euro 2024 infrastructure relies heavily on that of the 2006 World Cup, which still remains a symbol of national pride across Germany 18 years on.
Eight of the 10 World Cup 2006 venues will host games at Euro 2024: Berlin, Munich, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne and Leipzig.
Duesseldorf and Gelsenkirchen, home to German giants Schalke, have also been added as host cities.
Euro 2024 will be the first time a unified Germany will host the tournament, with West Germany having hosted Euro 1988.
As with the 2006 World Cup, however, Leipzig is the only host city from the former East.
Most of the stadiums are still in excellent condition ahead of Euro 2024, with only Stuttgart's Neckarstadion undergoing major renovation work.
The improvements on the stadium in south-western Germany, which was originally built for the 1974 World Cup, have cost 130 million euros and are set to finish in January 2024.
- 'A home game for Europe' -
Sustainability has been a major theme in Germany ahead of Euro 2024, particularly amid criticism aimed at the environmental impact of multi-country tournaments.