France the 2024 UEFA Euro favourite, says tournament director Philipp Lahm

Sports Tuesday 21/May/2024 10:20 AM
By: xinhua
France the 2024 UEFA Euro favourite, says tournament director Philipp Lahm

BERLIN: 2024 UEFA Euro tournament director Philipp Lahm called 2018 FIFA world champion France the favourite team to win this summer's tournament.

"They have got a remarkably well-equipped squad full of gifted talents," the 40-year-old told Xinhua in a recent interview.

From the 2014 world champion's perspective, the 2000 European champion's most challenging issue is "to get the power on the pitch as a team over the entire tournament."

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has proven that "teamwork" makes national teams achieve a higher level. "The Qatar World Cup delivered several examples of teams performing beyond expectations such as Morocco."

Lahm mentioned the robust team spirit of Argentina and Croatia. "Argentina lost their first group encounter but fought back and everyone in the team was willing to provide his best for the benefit of the team."

Lahm mentioned Spain, England, Portugal and Germany as the fiercest competitors aside from France. The German added he is hoping for a tournament surprise "like we saw from the Iceland team in 2016."

The 113 times capped former defender praised the development of the German team under the coach Julian Nagelsmann and sporting director Rudi Voller.

The recent success in the form of two victories over the Netherlands and France is triggering hopes to possibly repeat the so-called 2006 FIFA World Cup "summer fairytale."

"Voller is an identification figure for all fans and a people's catcher," he said calling German head coach Nagelsmann "a young talented coach" having found a tactical approach the recently struggling national team "is getting along with perfectly."

But Lahm sees challenges ahead "as you have to prove your upswing in a long and demanding tournament." Lahm said Nagelsmann has changed the national teams' nomination procedures "as he is appointing position-bound specialists for the various positions."

The Euro director expressed his hopes to create "a feeling of togetherness" for the host nation coming along with the message "football is uniting nations as millions of foreign fans join in and celebrate."

A tournament like the Euro 2024 is a great opportunity for fans of different nations "to get to know each other and their way of life. Football is a sport uniting the world," he added.

Lahm praised German football's "ability for competition as robustness has been a trademark for German football ever since."

Nagelsmann from Lahm's perspective has found a "core for his team, an axis carrying the team."

The former Bayern captain is convinced that "everything is possible for our team."

The mood of nations can make a difference, he added. As for Germany, "it seems we saw a bud burst due to the latest success when it comes to people's enthusiasm and support."

The former Bayern defender called safety and mobility the biggest challenges when running an event such as the Euro. "The Euro is a great opportunity to bring people together, especially in times like this as we need optimism to create a promising future for all."