In the summer of 2024, Germany will host EURO 2024, and the group draw will take place today starting at 18:00
The draw for the groups of EURO 2024 will be held from 6 pm. The European Championship will be held in Germany. EURO 2024 is one of the two main sporting events in the coming year. Another sporting event that we are all waiting for is the Olympics in Paris. Next summer, the European continent will be the main sports focus in the world. Because these two events are followed by absolutely everyone.
But football fans in Europe are looking forward to UEFA’s ball juggling. Given that 24 national teams are competing at the European Championship, there is not as much tension as before. Of course, there are always good and bad, as well as the best and worst variants that can be faced by national teams. The group draw for EURO 2024 will take place in Hamburg in the Elbpgilharmonie concert hall.
For Croatia, this is the 13th big competition in which they will be participating. And for the seventh time, Croatia is performing at the competition of the best national teams of the Old Continent. Given that the two best national teams from each group, as well as the four best third-placed national teams, will pass, experience says that winning four points is enough to qualify for the group.
The draw was divided into four “pots” with six teams each, and Croatia was in the third “pot”. Out of six appearances at the EURO, Croatia has played four times against the defending champions. Maybe Croatia will get the Italians this time, and they have never beaten us. In 1996, Croatia beat Denmark 3:0, and in 2004 they played France 2:2. At EURO 2012, Croatia lost to Spain with a score of 0:1, and four years later Croatia beat the same opponent. The result at that time was 2:1 for Croatia.
As the 2018 world champion and the 2022 world runner-up, France is one of the favorites to win this tournament. Along with France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and England are hosts in the first “pot”. In the second “pot” are Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Denmark, Albania, and Austria, while in the third are the Netherlands, Scotland, CROATIA, Slovenia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, and in the fourth are Ozalia, Serbia, Switzerland, and the three playoff winners.
Thus, Croatia avoids unpleasant opponents such as Scotland and the Netherlands. We can and do know how to play with the Dutch, but Scotland has a specific style of playing football, and Croatia does not like that style. From the first “pot” all the national teams are strong and it’s hard to play with them. However, there are national teams that Croatia can play with, and they know how to outplay them well. Of course, it is Germany, Spain and Belgium.
From the second “pot”, we should avoid Turkey, with whom we played in the qualifiers for EURO 2024 because we had unpleasant experiences with them at the European Championships. Turkey “wakes up” in big competitions and causes trouble for all opponents. Let’s just remember how they played at EURO 2008. From the fourth “pot”, Croatia is most favored by Italy, which has not yet defeated them. Although the Italians are the defending champions of Europe, Croatia could play a very good match.
In our opinion, this is what the groups related to Croatia would look like:
IDEAL GROUP: Germany, Albania, CROATIA, playoff winner
HARDEST GROUP: France, Denmark, CROATIA, Italy
RIVALRY GROUP: France, Turkey, CROATIA, Italy.
The ideal group for Croatia would be if Germany, Albania, and the winner of the playoff were to play in the group with it. We used to play with Germany and we used to beat them in big competitions. The exception was EURO 1996, which was held in England, where the referees were the main players in the match and brought Germany victory. Albania is somewhat of an unknown, but just getting to a big competition is a big deal. Croatia can beat Albania easily, but they must not be underestimated. The Playoff winner comes from national teams that are not in the ranks of strong national teams. And in the playoffs, there are national teams like Georgia, Luxembourg, and Kazakhstan.
The most difficult group is the one in which Croatia would find itself together with France, Denmark, and Italy. Italy has never beaten us so far, but there is a first time for everything. Italy is the defending champion, so a very tough and strong match is expected, which can be attractive. Denmark has already been dismantled by Croatia once at the European championships, but those were different times. The last clash between Croatia and Denmark took place at the World Cup in Russia when they met in the round of 16. Croatia advanced with a better penalty shootout.
Croatia played countless matches with the French but won only once. Croatia and France met three times at major competitions – twice at the World Championships and once at the European Championships. In the semifinals of the World Cup in 1998, when the French were the hosts, they defeated Croatia 2:1 after a reversal. Six years later, at the EURO 2004, Croatia and France played to a 2:2 draw. The last match between these two teams took place in the final in Moscow, where France was better in regular time.
Croatia can play against anyone, as the results of recent years prove. There is also one group into which the rivalry would mark. And that is with the French, Turkish, and Italian national teams. Croatia has complexes when they play against France. Only one win over France is not enough for Croatia. Each time, luck turned to the French, and Croatia remained “short-sleeved”.
We all remember how Croatia played Turkey. Croatia dominated and won most of the time. But that night in Austria in 2008 will forever remain engraved in the memory of all Croats. That match also went down in history. Croatia remembered that, and the Turks, I guess, remember the history when they couldn’t get past Croatia in wars. History is always remembered, and that’s probably where the rivalry started, so matches with the Turks can be interesting. This was also proven in the qualifiers for EURO 2024.
And Italy as Italy. We already wrote earlier that Italy has never beaten Croatia, and that over the years has created a degree of rivalry between these two national teams. We have a rivalry with our eastern neighbors as well. Although the history between Croatia and Serbia is long and much stronger than that between Croatia and Italy, we still give the Italians the advantage in the rival group. We give them the preference precisely because they have never beaten us.
Euro 2024 will begin on June 14, 2024, at 9 p.m., and will last exactly one month. The first game and the opening of the European Championship will be played in Munich at the Allianz Arena. The first match will be played by the host Germany and the national team that will be placed in the second position of Group A. The final of EURO 2024 will be played in Berlin. The two best national teams and the four best third-placed teams from each group will advance to the next phase of the competition.
EURO 2024 will be played in ten cities, and quarter-final matches will be played in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, and Düsseldorf. The semifinals will be played in Munich and Dortmund, and the final will be played in Berlin. As the host, Germany will be placed in Group A in position A1. We will find out about the groups that will be formed today at 6 pm.
GROUP DRAW POTS:
POT 1: Germany, Portugal, France, Spain, Belgium, England,
POT 2: Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Denmark, Albania, Austria,
POT 3: Netherlands, Scotland, CROATIA, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic,
POT 4: Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, and three playoff winners.
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