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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Looking ahead at the 2024 Euros

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Raimond Spekking
The 2024 EURO trophy in FC Koln’s stadium in Cologne, one of the 10 host stadiums at the tournament. (Courtesy Raimond Spekking)

The 2024 Euros is taking place in Germany this year, and it is setting up to be the most exciting soccer tournament since the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The Euros is a tournament held once every two years that takes the best teams across Europe and has them play against each other in a group stage and then in a knock-out bracket. The Euros will likely be the biggest soccer-related sports event this summer alongside the Copa America. The world will be watching as the giants of Europe clash to determine who takes the trophy.

The early favorites coming into the tournament are England, Germany, France and Spain with countries like the Netherlands and Portugal also positioned to make deep runs in the tournament.

England has been historically poor when it comes to international competitions as they have not won a major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup. England is headlined by stars Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka, all of whom are some of the best players in Europe. Although England’s attack seems to be one of the best in the world, there are doubts about the country’s capabilities on defense. Key defensive players such as John Stones and Luke Shaw have had questions asked about their fitness levels coming into the tournament.

France is another top contender for the Euros, led by star player Kylian Mbappe, who is considered by many to be the best player in the world. France has a great team top to bottom, with stars like Antoine Greizmann, Aurélien Tchouaméni and Theo Hernandez. France are a team that is very well rounded with talented players in attack and the midfield, but their defense is what has stood out lately as the team has kept back-to-back clean sheets in their most recent friendlies.

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“I think France are going to win the Euros because Didier Deschamps is a really good coach,” sophomore Adrian Oholegy said.

Another key contender is the German national team, consisting of rising stars such as Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala playing attacking midfield and veterans Toni Kroos and Manuel Neuer who are still playing at a high level despite being towards the later stages of their careers. The Germans have won the tournament three times and after a tough world cup where they were eliminated in the group stage, the team seems to be in good form coming into this tournament. The Germans have recently beaten both the Netherlands and France in Friendlieswhich is a good sign for their Euros hopes.

Portugal is poised to go on a fairly deep run in the tournament as well with stars like Rafael Leao and Ruben Dias highlighting a team that combines a mix of youth and experience. The Portuguese team is fairly well rounded with talented players on defense and attack, although there are questions about who will start at striker as the Portuguese do not have a clear number one option. One of those options is Cristiano Ronaldo who may be participating in his final major tournament. The Portuguese legend is approaching 40 and now plays in the Saudi Pro League. Ronaldo will be looking for one last international title to end a spectacular career.

The Euros is a tournament known for having some great underdog runs over the years as well, and there are some top contenders to surprise some people at this tournament. Spain isn’t one of the clear favorites for the tournament, but with players like Pedri Gonzalez and Rodrigo (Rodri) Hernandez Cascante in midfield, they are definitely situated to make a good run. The Spaniards have a history of success in the tournament, winning it three times with their most recent victory in 2012.

“I think that Spain is going to win the Euros because they have a lot of great players with potential,” sophomore Carlos Silva said.

Teams like Austria and Ukraine are in solid form coming into the tournament with Austria in particular picking up big wins on some major European powerhouses as of late. They look to upset some of the big teams in the tournament and solidify themselves as solid international teams.

As always, the Euros should be a magical experience with underdog stories and fantastic games. With it all kicking off in Germany at the end of June, the atmosphere is sure to be electric.

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