They have already made it into the history books of the World Cup and the European Championship, now they’re dreaming of the next chapter. The day before Germany’s UEFA Nations League opener against France, ex-World and European champions came together for a ‘EURO-Dinner’ in the Allianz Arena to show support for Germany’s bid to host EURO 2024.
“I hope Germany’s bid is successful, it’d be a great Euros here,” commented champion Berti Vogts, as a player he won the Euros in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974; he won the Euros again in 1996 as a manger.
The final push is underway. In three weeks, on the 27th September, UEFA will decide who will host the competition in six years time. “We’ve made a great bid and I hope it comes off,” said Phillip Lahm, captain of Germany’s World Cup winning side in 2014 and official ambassador for Germany’s bid. “Our bid is very convincing,” remarked DFB General Secretary Dr. Friedrich Curtius.
DFB President Reinhard Grindel emphasised what a home Euros would mean for German amateur football: “EURO 2024 in Germany would be a catalyst for a lighthouse project. In 2006, the World Cup in Germany inspired more children than ever before to start playing football. Clubs had a huge amount of kids signing up. A home Euros would also be a great incentive to develop a team capable of winning the championships. It will bring German football together.”
Guido Buchwald, World Cup winner in 1990, has already experienced what it feels like to play in a home European championship. He was in the national squad 30 years ago, the last time (and only time) Germany hosted the Euros. “To play in a home Euros was extraordinary. It was a fantastic experience and the whole country was behind us,” remarked Buchwald who played in a total of three European championships in his career.
Phillip Lahm had a similar experience. It was in the Allianz Arena that he scored the opening goal of Germany’s ‘fairytale’ World Cup in 2006. “We got to know a new Germany in 2006. We welcomed people from all over the world and celebrated together with them. Football unites people.” Woman’s national team coach and 1980 European champion Horst Hrubesch got the same feeling, “I watched some of the games in 2006 in Hannover on the big screens with some fans from Mexico. It was terrific.”
Anna Schaffelhuber’s first footballing memories are from 2006: “I was 13 and saw with my own eyes how football can bring a country together,” commented the Paralympics champion. The distinguished skier came to her hometown of Munich to back the EURO 2024 bid. Fellow skier Linus Straßer and musician DJ Hell joined her as ambassadors for the 2024 bid.
There was one thing that all these champions agree on: EURO 2024 in Germany would be a sensational festival of football. “We are all super motivated to host the Euros here,” commented Guido Buchwald. Thomas Helmer, Jens Todt and Oliver Reck were all there in Munich to share one message: “We’ve already played in a European championship, now we want to see one take place in our own country.”