Late call-up Can wants Euro glory after Champions League blow

AFP , Sunday 16 Jun 2024

Surprise late Germany call-up Emre Can said Sunday he wanted to turn his disappointment at losing June's Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund into a deep run at Euro 2024.

Emre Can
Germany's Emre Can, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fifth goal during a Group A match between Germany and Scotland at the Euro 2024 football tournament in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 14, 2024. Photo: AP


Can was left out of Germany's 26-man squad for the Euros on home soil and said Sunday he thought there was "zero percent chance" of taking part despite captaining Dortmund to a Wembley Champions League final appearance, where they lost 2-0 to Real Madrid.

When midfielder Aleksandar Pavlovic was ruled out of the tournament with illness, Can was called up by manager Julian Nagelsmann just two days before Germany's opener.

"I was at home in Dortmund with my wife on Wednesday and was just about to eat breakfast when I got a call from Julian," Can said.

"He asked me if I was keen to come along. I told him I was ready, even though I'd done nothing for 10 days."

Can played his 44th game in Germany colours in Friday's 5-1 win over Scotland, scoring the final goal after coming off the bench as the hosts opened the tournament in style.

"To be subbed on in the 81st minute (and score), it's a crazy story."

The 30-year-old said the break "did him good" after the setback at Wembley, where Dortmund dominated until the 70th minute but were unable to break through against the serial Champions League winners.

"It hit us hard. The style and manner in which we played football, I think we would have deserved to win.

"Mentally, these 10 days off did me good. It definitely wasn't easy, but I thought little about football."

The former Liverpool and Juventus midfielder said he was "grateful and very honoured to represent my country at such a big tournament."

"To do so at home is extra special."

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