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'Respect everyone, fear no one': Scotland optimistic of win against Germany in Euros 2024 opener

Scotland fans sing on Marienplatz square next to the town hall in Munich, June 13, 2024
Scotland fans sing on Marienplatz square next to the town hall in Munich, June 13, 2024 Copyright Ariel Schalit/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Ariel Schalit/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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Scotland showed during the qualifying campaign it can surprise, in beating Spain and Norway. However, the side has won only one of its last 13 matches against Germany and that was more than 25 years ago, 1-0 in a friendly in April 1999.

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Scottish fans are out in droves in the southern Germany city of Munich as the excitement ramps up ahead of the European Championship curtain raiser on Friday. 

Host nation Germany plays Scotland at the Allianz Arena in the first match of the month-long tournament that takes place in 10 cities. 

At a press conference on Thursday, Scotland's head coach Steve Clarke said he'd instilled in his team the mantra "respect everyone and fear no one" and said he was confident his side would deliver the goods as Scotland looks to qualify for the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time.

A Scotland soccer fan drinks beer in downtown Munich, June 13, 2024
A Scotland soccer fan drinks beer in downtown Munich, June 13, 2024Antonio Calanni/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

"We know it's a big game. But for us it’s the opening game in a four-team section, three matches. We know what we have to do to qualify out the section and that's all we are focused on. The enormity of the opening game and whatever, that's a little bit of a sideshow and hopefully we don't get too involved in that," he said.

"We believe we can get a result every time we go to the pitch. Otherwise, what's the point of going to the pitch? So we've prepared well, we think we're ready. And hopefully you see that tomorrow night." 

"We’ve waited a long time for this game," said Scotland captain Andy Robertson. He said he knew the opening match was going to be a challenge but it was one that was "on the horizon now." He also thanked the Tartan Army for their support.

"They’ve pushed us over the line at times and we hope they enjoy themselves over the next ten, eleven days because, you know, if we can perform the way we can perform, then we’ll give them plenty to shout about. And if we can do that, then, you know, hopefully they can stay in Germany that little bit longer," he said.

Scotland showed during the qualifying campaign it can surprise, in beating Spain and Norway.

However, the side has won only one of its last 13 matches against Germany and that was more than 25 years ago, 1-0 in a friendly in April 1999.

A good first match and group stage could set off a new wave of excitement in Germany, even though scenes similar to when it hosted the World Cup in 2006 are hard to imagine in a changing political landscape.

While the Scots are out in their droves in Munich, proudly wearing their team jerseys, there is hardly a German top or flag to be seen.

But that is perhaps understandable. Germany went out at the group stage of both the previous World Cups and was eliminated by England in the round of 16 at Euro 2020.

The anticipation might still be simmering but Germany captain İlkay Gündoğan believes a convincing start could change the picture.

Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, front centre, players and staff members walk on the pitch during a training session Herzogenaurach, June 13, 2024
Germany's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, front centre, players and staff members walk on the pitch during a training session Herzogenaurach, June 13, 2024Federico Gambarini/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten

"I think the atmosphere will be positive but then they will look at how we’re playing, how much will we'll show. So we have to then pass it on to the fans," he said on the eve of the match.

"No other game is like the first one because after that you can use the momentum, use the euphoria for the next few games. That’s why the most important objective is to win the game."

While some of the Germans may be bemused by their raucous Scottish counterparts, there’s plenty of pressure on the home nation which is the clear favourite in the opener.

24 teams from across Europe will play in a total of 51 matches before the final in Berlin on July 14.

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