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Julian Nagelsmann urges Germany to harness home advantage and joy at Euro 2024

Germany head coach Julian Nagelsmann says the joy of competing at Euro 2024 on home soil outweighs the pressure amid the host nation's growing expectation.

Die Mannschaft face Scotland in Munich on Friday in the tournament's opening match and Nagelsmann has urged his players to embrace a "unique opportunity".

The former Hoffenheim, Leipzig and Bayern Munich boss told UEFA.com: "We will face up to the task. It is a huge task, it will be challenging, and it's certainly not a chance that comes around very often.

"It's only the second time Germany has hosted a European Championship. For the players, and for myself as a manager, to take part in a tournament on home soil is a unique opportunity.

"There is pressure involved, but more so joy. If we can see that joy on the pitch, then we will have a great tournament."

Germany have been crowned European champions three times — twice as West Germany in 1972 and 1980 and also in 1996 — and reached the semi-finals when they were previously hosts in 1988.

More recent major tournaments have ended in disappointment as their failure to exit their group at the last two World Cups sandwiched a round-of-16 defeat at Euro 2020.

Nagelsmann made clear his aspirations in his first major tournament since succeeding the sacked Hansi Flick as national team boss in September last year.

"The normal ambition: we want to win it," the 36-year-old said. "It's the same in all other tournaments.

"It's probably not best for us to make this big claim that we're going to become European champions. I think it's the same for every country that participates, otherwise they wouldn't put in the work to qualify.

"We also have the idea of winning it. If we give it our all, it can happen. Lots of things have to come together, as is the case for all teams. It's not a sure thing for any team.

"There is already the expectation that we will do better than we have in recent years, and our fans are excited to have the tournament on home soil."

Germany also face Hungary (June 19) and Switzerland (June 23) in Group A, but Nagelsmann said all eyes will be on Friday's opener against Steve Clarke's Scotland.

"Now we're all getting kind of nervous, a little bit," he added. "I think it's normal, but it's good as well, because if you're kind of nervous, you'll be focused, on the first game especially.

"The start of the group stage on Friday will be very important for us, but also for the fans. We need a good result."

Later in his media conference at the Munich Arena, Nagelsmann praised Scotland under Clarke.

"Scotland has a very good team. They have four or five very important players and lots with physicality who are aggressive," the Germany boss said.

"They put lots of crosses into the box. It's a team which doesn't have world stars — but that makes them very dangerous.

"They all work hard together with a classic Scottish mentality. They have had incredible development, they are not a kick-and-rush team — they can do that, but they can also play football.

"They played against Holland and lost 4-0, but they were very good. They were better than the Dutch, so we have to prepare well for this.

"Their mentality is definitely there. We are under more pressure on Friday night than Scotland and I am sure they will want to capitalise on that."

Nagelsmann added: "It should be a very interesting game. My players want to win and I want them to believe in themselves.

"We have home advantage and a good mentality of our own."

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