2014-like 2024: Germany gets off to a perfect start at the Euros. - © IMAGO / USA TODAY Network (1), Mika Volkmann (2)
2014-like 2024: Germany gets off to a perfect start at the Euros. - © IMAGO / USA TODAY Network (1), Mika Volkmann (2)

Germany's perfect start against Scotland is reminiscent of the 2014 World Cup


Germany started Euro 2024 on a perfect note - a fantastic offensive display under the leadership of captain Ilkay Gündoğan and maestro Toni Kroos ensured a resounding first victory. This is quite similar to their start to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

A perfect start to a tournament can change so many things and set the best possible course for the future. Germany's class of 2014 showed this already 10 years ago after their impressive start against Portugal.

After just 12 minutes, Thomas Müller fired Germany into the lead, and following a goal from Mats Hummels and two more from Müller, Joachim Löw's side celebrated a huge victory to kick-start their World Cup campaign in Brazil.

Ultimately we all know how that one ended - how could we forget Müller's post-match declaration: "We are world champions!"?

Two days before the 10th anniversary of that memorable start to the 2014 World Cup, Germany started Euro '24 on home soil against Scotland on Friday evening - once again, with a bang. It only took 10 minutes for Florian Wirtz to give Germany the lead on this occasion. Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz and Niclas Füllkrug made it 4-0 against the 10-man Scots. Just like it was 10 years ago, a central defender from the opposition was shown a red card, this time Ryan Porteous.

These parallels to the 2014 World Cup are not clouded by the late action from this game, an own goal from Antonio Rüdiger and a long-range effort from Emre Can resulted in the game finishing 5-1 instead of 4-0. Regardless, Julian Nagelsmann's side managed the perfect start to their home Euros campaign.

Match report: Germany kick off with 5-1 win against Scotland

Strong collective under fantastic leadership

A significant difference from the result against Portugal was the goalscorers this time. Instead of scoring a hat-trick, all three designated star attackers got on the scoresheet - Wirtz, Musiala and Havertz. Super sub Niclas Füllkrug grabbed the fourth. The Borussia Dortmund forward has scored all three of his goals in major tournaments for Germany after being substituted on - a joint-record. Nobody else has scored more often from the bench.

İlkay Gündoğan's was the only attacker who started this game and finished without a direct goal contribution, however, that does not take away from his stellar display. "A world-class performance," Müller said about his captain, "with the pressure that was also on him from outside. He had a hand in everything for the first three goals."

For the opener, it was Gündoğan's magnificent run into the penalty box that opened up the space for Wirtz to take his shot. The Barcelona midfielder initiated the sequence for the second with a superb switch. And for the third, he was once again the initiator, directing a header towards goal before winning the penalty that Havertz expertly dispatched. A perfect game from the leader.

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The players around him played at a very high level too. "When you see Jamal and Flo...Jamal in particular, you don't tell him these things, he can just do them. That was an exceptionally good game, he had a lot of influence today," said coach Nagelsmann, singing the duo's praises. 

The nickname "Wusiala" also seems to be catching on amongst the German players: "Jamal was great, I was very happy that he also scored a goal," explains Müller, "Flo also got off to a great start. Our Wusiala connection also needed such a moment of liberation."

Kroos the maestro

Former Bayern Munich man Toni Kroos also delivered a superb performance. Nearing the end of his career, the Champions League winner impressively showed that he's still got plenty left in the tank. The German maestro completed an incredible 101 of 102 attempted passes against Scotland.

But it wasn't just "cross-field pass Toni" - it was shifting Toni, through-ball Tonii. Kroos began the goal for 1-0 with a seamless switch to Joshua Kimmich on the right. For the second goal, he looked for his captain centrally and beyond those chances, it was always him who set the rhythm of the German attack. With all of his usual excellence, Kroos gave the team security and structure. Despite the huge individual strengths of this Germany team, they also have excellent harmony.

The aim for the Germans has to be to take this successful mood into the rest of the tournament. "The team knows that it was a very good step - but also just a step. One that we can build on," said Nagelsmann, pleased with the strong performance. "Now, we have to win many more games."