Nagelsmann relying on Spain insiders ahead of Euro 2024 quarterfinal

Berlin, July 5 (FN Agency) Four Germans under contract at clubs in Spain’s La Liga might turn into an advantage ahead of a delicate quarterfinal at Euro 2024. When Spain and Germany cross swords this Friday evening in Hamburg, Germany head coach Julian Nagelsmann is relying on the inside knowledge of his squad members Ilkay Gundogan, Marc-Andre ter Stegen (both Barcelona), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid) and former Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos. While six-time Champions League winner Kroos is convinced the delicate duel will be decided in midfield, the tournament hosts’ attention turns to Spain’s gifted wingers, in the form of 16-year-old Lamine Yamal and 21-year-old Nico Williams. Defender Rudiger is expecting “a challenge on eye level” and has spoken of “spaces we might get” due to Spain’s attacking gameplan. The former Stuttgart, Roma and Chelsea defender has spoken of courage “to attack and set up pressure” as Spain seem vulnerable as “their game relies on a high press.”

A solid amount of possession and calmness in tight situations is the key to beating Spain, the 2024 Champions League winner said. “Yamal and Williams might be youngsters, but they take responsibility; that’s what I like about them.” 31-year-old Rudiger compares the Spaniards’ skills to those of Germany’s livewire, Bayern Munich youngster Jamal Musiala. “He is a changemaker that we as a team must support, allowing him to show his quality,” the defender said.Barcelona midfielder Gundogan has praised clubmate Yamal’s advantages, as “he is one of the main players initiating counterattacks when you lose the ball.” The 33-year-old said Yamal’s defending potential hasn’t reached the highest level yet, but “he might be one of Spain’s most dangerous players when attacking.” Avoiding mistakes is one of the key issues for Germany when the tournament’s “most robust and stable teams” battle it out, he added.

The German quartet spoke about Spain’s apparent weaknesses despite having performed as one of Euro 2024’s best outfits. “You can find gaps and spaces,” Gundogan mentioned. As both teams rely on possession, “it will be vital how you act and react when you don’t have the ball,” the captain added.26 competitive games have been played between the two nations, with nine German victories, eight draws and eight defeats. However, Spain enjoys an advantage when it comes to major tournaments. In 2008, they won the Euro final 1-0 against Germany, and also achieved the same result in the 2010 World Cup semifinal, as well as a notable 6-0 thrashing of Germany in the Nations League in 2020. Meanwhile, Germany’s last victory dates back to Euro 88, when they emerged victorious 2-0.