Title holders Italy join Spain and Croatia in a powerful group at Euro 2024.


The Draw and the Difficult Group.

Spain and Italy will step up their European Championship challenge next year after the defending champions and two-time defending champions are drawn into a tough group with World Cup semi-finalists Croatia and Albania on Saturday.

Euro 2020 winner Italy fulfilled predictions as probably the most tough and dramatic possibility to come back from the pot of lowest-ranked groups on the again finish of a draw ceremony that was pranked by a British social media comic as its title was referred to as.

Italy beat Spain within the semifinals to win its European title, and the Spanish eradicated the Italians when successful back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2012, together with a 4-0 rout within the remaining 9 years in the past in Kyiv, Ukraine.

“It’s absolutely probably the most tough group,” stated Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić, whose group went deep on the previous two World Cups regardless of arduous begins.

The draw ensured the opposite Euro 2020 semifinal additionally will probably be a rematch in Germany subsequent yr. England will once again face Denmark, who they beat to reach the final. Its group also includes Slovenia and Serbia.

France, the World Cup finalist a yr in the past, was drawn with Austria, the Netherlands — which the French beat twice in a qualifying group this yr — and the winner of a playoff bracket in March involving Poland, Wales, Estonia, and Finland.

Germany, on a run of poor outcomes, will open its residence match towards Scotland on June 14 at Bayern Munich’s stadium. The group consists of Hungary and Switzerland.

Germany misplaced six of its 13 friendlies this yr and won’t play a aggressive recreation till dealing with Scotland to start out the month-long match.

Portugal, nonetheless led by Cristiano Ronaldo, was the one group to come back via qualifying teams with an ideal successful document and can play Turkey, the Czech Republic and the winner of the playoffs of Georgia, Greece, Luxembourg, champion of Euro 2004, and Kazakhstan.

Belgium was joined by Slovakia and Romania, and the playoff winner of Iceland, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine.

That playoff bracket might see a remaining between Ukraine and Israel with a spot at Euro 2024 at stake.

Simply 21 of the 24 match groups are confirmed, with three placeholders within the draw for the eventual winners of qualifying playoffs. The 12 groups in three knockout brackets will play single-leg semifinals and finals from March 21-26.

The draw took place by the sea, live, in a performance hall in the northern port city of Hamburg, and was marred by unexplained noises clearly heard on stage and on international broadcast. A British social media prankster posted footage displaying how he positioned mobile phone calls to make the noise.

Hamburg is amongst 10 cities that may host the 51 video games, and solely Düsseldorf’s stadium was not additionally used on the 2006 World Cup.

The ultimate is on July 14 on the Olympic Stadium in Berlin which additionally staged the ultimate in 2006.

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