Euro 2024: Germany boss Nagelsmann feels support after Ukraine friendly

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Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann has said the host nation is “united” behind his players despite their build-up to Uefa Euro 2024 starting with a 0-0 draw at home to Ukraine.

The country’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, visited the dressing room after a dominant Mannschaft display at Nurnberg’s Max-Morlock-Stadion.

“He said he was crossing his fingers and wishing us every success,” Nagelsmann told Das Erste, via Bayern News World. “The country is united behind us and he gave us a good feeling.

“We would have preferred to win 2-0 or 3-0, of course. But we played well for long stretches.

“I had the impression that we really wanted to win. The first 20 minutes of the game were very good, with a big chance for Ilkay [Gundogan]; we should have taken the lead.”

In a dominant display which intensified after the break, Die Mannschaft went closest when Hoffenheim forward Maximilian Beier hit the crossbar in the 61st minute with his first touch as a senior international.

“The 20 minutes after the break were really good, too,” said Nagelsmann, who has won three of his seven games since being appointed in September, all of which have been friendlies.

“We had six or seven chances. We need to get more players into the box when it comes to crosses.

“Maxi Beier did really well and had three chances alone. There are still things we have to do better, like being more aggressive and having more players in the box. Generally speaking, I’m happy – especially with the substitutes.”

Germany Euro squad: Neuer returns

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer returned to international action from injury for the first time since 2022, winning his 118th cap.

“It was a wonderful feeling,” said the Bayern Munich captain. “It’s nice to be back in the national team.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the reward for the many scoring opportunities. Hopefully things will be a little different at the European Championship.

“It was a good defensive performance, we were stable. We were always dominant and, especially defensively, we kept our structure.”

Germany, who ensured they have never lost against Ukraine in 10 meetings, play Greece in Monchengladbach on Friday, a week before they feature in the opening game of Euro 2024 against Scotland.

The group stage then pits them against Hungary on June 19 and Switzerland four days later.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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