'Fear no one': Scotland unafraid of Germany in Euro 2024 opener

AFP , Thursday 13 Jun 2024

Scotland coach Steve Clarke said his team should "fear no one" ahead of Friday's opening match against Euro 2024 hosts Germany in Munich.

Scotland s head coach Steve Clarke looks on during MD-1 training session of Scotland s national football team ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 football Championship at the team s base camp in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on June 13, 2024. AFP


Clarke hopes to become the first man to lead Scotland into the knockout phase of a major tournament, but his side face a tough assignment against the three-time European champions.

"We have a lot of respect for the host nation and we know they're a good team," said Clarke.

"It's a difficult game. One of the mantras I've had is respect everyone and fear no one."

Scotland are taking part in the Euros for the fourth time. In 11 previous finals appearances, including eight World Cups, they have never made it beyond the group stage.

Clarke's side impressed in qualifying from a group featuring Spain and Norway, but went seven matches without a win before last week's victory over Gibraltar.

Clarke told reporters his team had their sights set on reaching the knockouts rather than putting all his focus on the tournament opener, calling it a "sideshow".

"We know it's a big game, but it's the opening game of a four-team section. We know what we need to do to qualify."

Scotland captain Andy Robertson said the pressure was all on Germany, who have failed to get past the last 16 at any major tournament dating back to 2016.

"We're excited. We know the games are close and we know how fast the tournament can go by you.

"We can create a bit of history. No real pressure on us, no real expectation from the outside world.

"We've waited a long time for this game. Feels like years. We know how much of a challenge it will be."

Robertson said there was "no bigger stage" than Friday's curtain-raiser, where "all eyes will be on us against Germany".

Robertson toasted the Tartan Army, Scotland's travelling fans, with pre-tournament predictions saying up to 200,000 could make the trip.

"It feels as if most of the country are here which is crazy," said Robertson.

"The Tartan Army have been amazing since day one.

"There's a lot of them over here and we hope to make them proud. We know they can't get into the stadium -- we wish they could.

"We want to give them plenty to shout about."

The Liverpool defender expected Germany to dominate possession and said the hosts had "the best midfielder in the world in Toni Kroos".

Robertson said he had fond memories of playing in Munich, with his Liverpool side having won 3-1 here on the way to lifting the Champions League title in 2019.

"Last time I was at this stadium was a massive win for us. A lot of people wrote us off, to win was incredible.

"I have a lot of good memories here."

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