ESP vs GER, Euro 2024 Quarterfinal: Germany out to snap 36-year winless run against Spain

Germany takes on fellow title contender Spain in the mouth-watering Euro 2024 quarterfinal clash on Friday, hoping to end a winless run at tournaments against it that stretches back to 1988.

The Germans are enjoying their best international tournament in eight years with home fans desperate for their first title in a decade but their match against the Spaniards is also seen as a premature final between two of the hottest teams in the competition.

Spain cruised through its group with wingers Lamine Yamal, who is the youngest player to feature at a Euros at 16, and Nico Williams quickly establishing a superb partnership that has terrorised opposing defences with their speed and creative play.

With Fabian Ruiz directing their game, often called ‘possession with a purpose’, there is a constant drive forward instead of merely holding onto the ball.

Its 4-1 victory over Georgia in the round of 16 confirmed its good form with its fourth win in four matches as it looks for a record fourth European title.

ALSO READ | Spain sees off brave Georgia to set up quarterfinal against Germany

The Germans, who have also won the tournament three times, had to dig deep to top their group with a stoppage-time equaliser against Switzerland before their 2-0 knockout stage win over Denmark.

But it is how their defensive organisation copes with Spain’s lethal attacking football that is likely to decide the outcome.

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann has a tough decision to make for the left back position, with attack-minded David Raum and Maximilian Mittelstaedt having occupied it in recent games.

He could potentially opt for a more defensive option in Benjamin Henrichs.

“We should not be hiding against Spain,” said captain Ilkay Gundogan. “As a team we can more than keep up with them. We also have extreme qualities.

“I think the Spaniards have more respect for us than they tend to admit in public.”

ALSO READ | Germany embracing fans’ expectations, Nagelsmann says

The Germans are also up against a 36-year winless run at tournaments against Spain with their last victory dating back to Euro 1988.

They lost the 2010 World Cup semifinal to them as well as the 2008 Euro final while also suffering a 6-0 demolition in the Nations League four years ago.

“I don’t want to offend anyone but we have the best team at this tournament,” said Spain coach Luis de la Fuente. “We are going to fight for it and we know what we have ahead of us, which is Germany.

“It is the well-known German machine. It will be a very close match, but we are very confident of our game.” 

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