Spain vs Germany - EURO 2024

The 2024 European Championship continues to thrill as the very best national teams are set to decide the quarter-finals of this edition.

Hence, there are blockbuster fixtures in the offing which means some heavyweights will depart the competition this weekend. Two of the tournament favourites lock horns as Germany and Spain go face-to-face in Stuttgart on Friday, 5 July. 

Both nations are the most successful teams in European Championship history with three titles each, and they will battle for a place in another semi-final. This one certainly feels like a final in the quarterfinal. 

Germany have a narrow lead in their head-to-head meetings with Spain featuring nine wins, nine draws and eight defeats, and they will be keen to make their home soil advantage count. Contrary to their 1-1 draw in the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there will surely be a winner here and La Roja will fancy their chances having won the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2008 final.

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Die Mannschaft are in the Last Eight of the Euros for the fourth time in the last five tournaments, and their prospects are very bright at this one given they are leading the competition with ten goals so far. 

The tournament hosts brushed aside Scotland 5-1 on opening day, which was followed by a 2-0 win against Hungary that secured their place in the knockouts. A stoppage-time equaliser from Niclas Fullkrug against Switzerland preserved their undefeated record and ensured they finished top of Group A.

Against Denmark in Dortmund, Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala scored to win the Round of 16 tie and they now have to face the only team that can match their top-level performances at this tournament.

A Case for the Silky Germans

Niclas Fullkrug celebrates his goal for Germany against Switzerland

There is a lot of quality that can see them through, nevertheless, as the likes of Toni Kroos – who has spent the last decade of his club career in Spain – will be crucial in knowing the opposition well as he looks for three more wins to mark the perfect end to his career.

Jamal Musiala is fast becoming a national hero as he returns to his hometown being the joint-top scorer in EURO 2024 with three goals. Elsewhere, Florian Wirtz has been marvellous and he could be restored to the starting lineup alongside Bayer Leverkusen teammate, Jonathan Tah, who served a one-game suspension against Denmark.

There have been legitimate calls for Fullkrug to start given he is a goalscoring outlet, yet his record of four goals off the bench at major tournaments is enough reason to keep him in his role as a super-sub.

Overall, Germany are a solid unit rather than individuals, which is a hallmark of successful German teams of the past. Much of the credit for their sparkling performances at this tournament must go to Julian Nagelsmann who took over from Hansi Flick in September 2023 and quickly instilled confidence in his side. 

The tactical system incorporates three narrow attacking midfielders (Wirtz, Musiala and captain Ilkay Gundogan) behind Havertz, which makes their forward line very fluid with four or five players constantly interchanging and rotating their positions across the width of the pitch. However, this is all made efficient by the presence of midfield playmaker Toni Kroos as Nagelsmann’s decision to convince him to come out of international retirement could turn out to be a masterstroke.

After a series of disappointments over the past decade, Germany are as good as they have been at a major tournament for the first time since reaching the EURO 2016 semifinal. It would be very difficult to stop them should they win this epic clash against Spain.

This group of players and the manager are helping to restore the country’s football ego and at a home tournament, an exciting summer could climax into a return to the top of European football.

Perfectly-blended red fury

La Furia Roja provide the ultimate litmus test of Germany’s title credentials as the tournament’s entertainers are playing with fearlessness and hunger. 

Spain - EURO 2024

Luis de la Fuente’s men have laid a serious claim to the EURO 2024 title so far and they must defeat Die Mannschaft to prove this could be their year. Having reached the semi-final three years ago and also won the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League final, there is some momentum behind Spain and they remain the only team at EURO 2024 with a 100% record having scored nine times and conceded only once. 

The Iberians are blessed with the twin threat of Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on either side of their forward line which is a favourite of many neutrals. Yamal grabbed an assist in their opening game against Croatia when he became the youngest player to ever feature in the competition, at 16 years and 338 days.

Fresh from passing his school exams which he studied for during the Euros, Yamal was electric in the 4-1 Round of 16 win against Georgia and he was unlucky to come away with only an assist in a sensational display. He created a game-high six chances and is the only player with over 10 chances created as well as 10 take-ons completed so far in the tournament. 

He is so instrumental to the team that Spain are ready to break German employment laws just to play him in evening games throughout the knockouts as athletes under the age of 18 are only allowed to play until 11 PM (CET). With the prospect of extra time and post-match media duties, La Roja are prepared to face a €30,000 fine should they be deemed to have broken the law.

Both of Spain’s exciting wingers are stationed either side of captain Alvaro Morata, with a supporting cast that includes goalkeeper Unai Simon, defender Aymeric Laporte, midfield general Rodri and the silky Pedri Gonzalez. There is an interesting mix of youthful talent with firm experience who are guided by a coach who has the nous and winning mentality to see them through. 

Having already defeated Italy and Croatia on the way to this quarterfinal, Germany are their next big test as they aim to become the first side to win four European Championships.

When two teams to beat face-off, there can only be one winner. 


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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