Pressure mounts on Euro 2024 hosts Germany after under-21s fall at group stage

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The pressure on Germany to perform well at Euro 2024 has significantly increased in recent months due to a series of poor results. However, it reached a new level after the unexpected elimination of Germany’s under-21 team in the group stage of the European Championship. 

Despite being the reigning European champions in 2021, the youth team failed to showcase their potential and suffered a 2-0 defeat to England in Georgia, resulting in their exit from the tournament with only one point from three matches.

Additionally, they will not qualify for a position in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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“England were at least one level better than us,” said Germany under-21 coach Antonio Di Salvo. “They have a lot of players with potential and an amazing depth in the squad.”

“We had imagined it all differently,” he added.

All eyes are now on Germany coach Hansi Flick as German fans fear hearing the same disappointing words at Euro 2024. Flick’s team is far from the required level for next year’s tournament, where they hope to redeem themselves after a disappointing five-year period. In recent friendlies, Germany drew 3-3 with Ukraine, lost 1-0 to Poland in Warsaw, and suffered a 2-0 defeat at home against Colombia. 

These results confirm their poor form since their early elimination in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup and their loss to England in the last 16 of Euro 2020. Flick took over in September 2021 when Germany was already in a slump.

Flick started off his tenure with a series of eight consecutive victories, but Germany has only managed to win one out of their last five matches since their unexpected elimination from the World Cup group stage in December. In fact, they have only won three out of their last 11 matches. 

In September, the German team will be facing Japan and France in two friendly matches that could potentially determine Flick’s future as the head coach of the four-time world champions.

“I believe we will turn the corner in September with two wins and two good performances,” said Germany national team director Rudi Voller on Wednesday. “What will be important is the way we will present ourselves.”

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