Is a home tournament the boost Germany needs to return to the top?

It is fair to say that Germany’s record at major tournaments has taken a nose-dive in recent years. Since winning the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 through Mario Götze’s spectacular extra time winner, the German national team only have a Confederations Cup 2017 trophy and a semi-final appearance in the 2016 European Championships to show for their efforts. This is the four-time FIFA World Cup and three-time UEFA European Championship winners we are talking about.

The defeat to arch-rivals England at Euro 2020 (played in 2021) in the Round of 16 was a bitter pill to take, but Germany have disappointed even further with group stage exits at the World Cups in 2018 and 2022, in Russia and Qatar, respectively. With the next edition of the Euros coming to Germany this summer, could home advantage provide much needed impetus to restore Germany’s reputation as one of the powerhouses of European football.

Momentum going into the tournament

The friendly win over Netherlands (2-1) in Frankfurt gave the nation a taste of what is to come this summer. This backed up an impressive victory over France (2-0) and sent out a timely reminder that Germany is able to produce against the best teams. They might only have been friendlies, but Nagelsmann’s team were up against world-class players in both matches and still put in solid displays. More importantly though, the momentum created from the two victories will give the team, and the nation, more confidence and self-belief.

Managing expectations

Hosting a tournament in your own country can have many benefits. Familiar surroundings, stadiums and pitches, language, food, more home fans at each match to name a few. However, one major drawback of being the host nation is the increased level of expectation from a feverish home following. The role of the sports psychologist, a position that is increasingly growing in importance in modern day football, will surely be leaned heavily upon to ensure that the players are able to play with as much freedom and without any burden that comes with the increased attention from fans and media alike.

Get off to a winning start

Quite simply, the best way to get off on a positive foot is to win the opening match. As the host nation, Germany has the privilege of playing the first match of the tournament, against Scotland in Munich and Cloudbet lists them as heavy favourites for the tie. A win would be the ideal way to set the tone and Nagelsmann will be placing the emphasis on getting a win at all costs to settle any pre-tournament nerves or anxieties. The eyes of the world will be on Germany for a month of football, but it remains to be seen whether home advantage gives the national team the boost they need to go all the way.

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