Euro 2024: From low expectations to 'going all the way' - how Germany could win tournament

There was very little fanfare around Germany's chances of winning a fourth European Championship before the start of Euro 2024.

Expectations were low as the team has had a difficult build-up to the tournament.

They've also faced the footballing nightmares of recent major tournaments where they went out in the group stage in the last two World Cups and then in the last 16 to England at Euro 2020.

That mood has changed.

A comfortable passage through the group stages, including victories over Scotland and Hungary, has sparked a belief that they can become the most successful nation in Europe.

Julian Naglesman, who only replaced Hansi Flick as manager in September, has found a formula that is working.

His tactics, patterns of play and philosophy in a simple 4-2-3-1 have allowed youngsters such as Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala to flourish in a team built around the experience and class of 34-year-old Toni Kroos.

The fan zones across Germany have been packed.

Some bars are offering free drinks for customers every time their team score a goal and the buzz around the cities is audible.

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"We didn't expect this, but we are enjoying it," one supporter in Frankfurt explained, while another said: "You cannot know what happens in a tournament, but I think we can go all the way."

The host's path to the final begins with a last-16 clash against Denmark.

They will then face Spain or Georgia in the quarter-finals.

France or Portugal could be waiting for them in the semis with a potential clash against England for the trophy if both make the final on 14 July.