Euro 2024 is underway! Our daily files give you the latest reporting from around the tournament as well as betting lines, what to watch for and best reads.

Check in with ESPN throughout the tournament as we bring you the latest from Germany all the way up to the final on July 14.


The lead: Scotland’s wait for the knockouts goes on

STUTTGART, Germany — Scotland only needed one goal before kickoff. As it was, they didn’t even have a shot on target.

The team that arguably brought the biggest support to Euro 2024 still somehow managed to leave it with a whimper, losing 1-0 to Hungary in Stuttgart to finish bottom of Group A. Victory on Sunday would have almost certainly sent Scotland through as one of the four best third-place finishers, reaching the knockout stages of a major international tournament for the first time in their history, at the 12th attempt.

The Tartan Army packed out the MHP Arena with lung-busting renditions of “Flower of Scotland” and a bagpiper stationed near one corner of the Scottish support enhancing an occasion already rich in emotion.

Steve Clarke’s pre-tournament target of four points was within reach after recovering from a heavy defeat to Germany on the opening night — for which around 200,000 Scottish fans descended on Munich — by drawing with Switzerland four days ago. Yet the sense of occasion seemed to consume them. Perhaps the weight of history was too much to bear.

Hungary are rarely interested in possession for the sake of it. Scotland, atypically for them, therefore had more of the ball but the palpable plan of keeping things tight before trying their luck later merely created a first-half stalemate.

Something had to give. Hungary may have lost twice but their only hope of reaching the round of 16 was to win here and pray results elsewhere in the next few days would be enough to see them through.

Ché Adams fired over the crossbar from outside the box on 53 minutes. The hope for Scotland was that moment would spark an onslaught, but nothing followed. Stuart Armstrong wanted a 79th-minute penalty for a challenge by Willi Orbán, but Argentinian referee Facundo Tello was unmoved. They ended the game with an expected goals (xG) of 0.19 from the sum total of five shots, four of which came in second-half stoppage time.

A troubling injury to Barnabás Varga — who appeared to collapse on the pitch before medical staff held up sheets to hide the forward from the crowd as he was stretchered off, the Hungarian FA later confirming that he’s in stable condition — led to 10 minutes of added time.

Finally, the gloves came off.

Substitute Kevin Csoboth hit the post. Scotland’s four shots were all blocked. And then, in the 100th minute, Hungary counterattacked from a Scotland corner and Roland Sallai found Csoboth to slot home a low finish past Angus Gunn and cue pandemonium in the Hungary end.

With Group A first to be completed, Hungary must now wait to learn their fate as the third-place teams are determined.

Scotland’s interminable wait to play a knockout match goes on. It’s the shots you don’t take you regret the most. — James Olley

– Euro 2024: Landing page | Schedule | Rosters | News
Team previews | Predictions for every team (ESPN+)


Sights and sounds around Euro 2024

Switzerland prove vs. Germany they can be a problem in the knockouts

FRANKFURT — On the list of special wins at a major tournament, this could have been up there alongside beating world champions France in the round of 16 at the last Euros.

Switzerland almost shocked the whole of Germany by leading the hosts until the 92nd minute in Frankfurt and threatening to overtake them atop Group A. The hosts should have seen it coming considering this marks the fourth game in a row against their neighbours that Die Nationalmannschaft have failed to win. Despite Niklas Fulkrug’s last-minute equaliser, earning Germany a 1-1 draw, this Alps derby will almost feel like a win for la Nati.

They showed again that in big tournament they are a force to be reckoned with. They did more than compete with Julian Nagelsmann’s team; they nullified Germany’s attacking potential by forcing them narrow and making them too predictable, thanks to a very compact block positioned in a 3-5-2 formation and expertly directed by captain Granit Xhaka and sweeper Manuel Akanji.

To hurt the German defence, manager Murat Yakin chose to drop Xherdan Shaqiri and introduce the physicality of Breel Embolo. His partnership up front with Dan Ndoye would prove tricky and tiring for Germany’s hulking centre-backs Antonio Rüdiger and Jonathan Tah to track.

Ndoye has lacked a clinical presence in the first two Swiss games, failing to score against 0.69 xG against the Scots and 0.22 expected goals and assists against the Magyars, but he can run. He predominately played in wide positions for Bologna this past season, where he could put his pace to use, and was always a threat in behind here, outpacing Rüdiger to create an opportunity in the first half that he put just wide.

Eventually, Ndoye got his first goal of the tournament, a very well-taken effort from close range just before the half-hour mark.

Even if the Swiss will feel disappointed not to have won, their superb performance, supported by 15,000 amazing fans in Frankfurt, proved again that Yann Sommer & Co will be a problem for whoever faces them in the knockout rounds — Julien Laurens

Ronaldo makes a mascot’s day

It seems like everybody wants a piece of Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2024, from selfie-chasing pitch invaders to young mascots who are determined to make the most of being so close to the Portugal forward.

Six fans — four during the game and two as the players left the field after the final whistle — ran onto the pitch during Saturday’s 3-0 win against Turkey in Dortmund, in an attempt to take a selfie with the former Real Madrid and Manchester United player. The incidents left Portugal coach Roberto Martínez voicing his concern over what could happen if players are approached by spectators with ill-intent.

But there was a more harmless moment prior to kickoff when one of the mascots lingered on the pitch after the national anthems just to get a hug from Ronaldo.

The little girl was stood in front of Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa during the prematch ceremony, but she only had eyes for Ronaldo. She kept looking back, and reaching out to touch her hero.

And as soon as the anthems finished, she followed the Portugal captain until he noticed her and smiled before giving her a big hug. — Mark Ogden

Don’t call us Sweden!

Among the wall of red Switzerland supporters for their match against Scotland was a small white sign. On it read: “We are not Sweden.” As you bump into Swiss fans around Germany, you may also see this slogan on t-shirts.

It all relates to people muddling up the two countries, confusing the “Sw” in their names. It got to such an extent that Sweden launched their own marketing campaign last year called, “Welcome to Sweden (not Switzerland).” It features a clip of U.S. President Joe Biden saying in 2022 that Switzerland was joining NATO, when it was in fact Sweden. And there’s a handy guide to the differences between the countries’ produce, all run by Visit Sweden CEO Susanne Andersson.

Jacques Pitteloud, ambassador of Switzerland to the U.S., has since done his own video, clarifying Switzerland’s side of the story.

So while Switzerland were taking on Germany on Sunday night in Frankfurt, the other “Sw” was watching on from home, having not qualified for Euro 2024. — Tom Hamilton

Georgia’s press in hot water

Georgia are making their debut at a major tournament and everyone connected to the team is determined to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Support has been feverish among fans outside the stadiums and in the stands, but the same has also been true of the press tribune. Media reporters wearing Georgia shirts celebrate goals in the same way as any fan and every time their team launches an attack, they beat the desks with their fists in anticipation. It all got too much for one UEFA official during the game against Turkey … and a number of Georgia media representatives were asked, politely, to calm down.

After the 1-1 draw with Czechia on Saturday, goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili was asked to conduct a news conference after his 11 saves earned him the man-of-the-match award. After taking a couple of questions, Mamardashvili got to leave but before he did he received a round of applause from the Georgian media in the room. If he wasn’t a national hero before, he is now. — Rob Dawson

Nagelsmann gets inspiration from basketball

A Canadian could play a big part in Germany’s success at Euro 2024. Gordon Herbert is the Germany basketball head coach. Born 65 years ago in Penticton, British Columbia, he led his team to a win the World Championships against all odds last summer in Pasay in the Philippines, beating the United States in the semifinals and Serbia in the final.

He was invited by Julian Nagelsmann, his counterpart with the soccer team, to explain to his players the ingredients and recipes he used to bring success with his basketball players.

Herbert, who also has a Finnish passport after playing basketball for many years in the country, came to Herzogenaurachavantle, Germany’s camp during the Euros, to talk about his philosophy and share his experience.

One of his most important points was about the construction of the squad, the role of each player and finding the right balance. He detailed that to be successful, a team needs pigs, who obviously do the dirty work, and race horses, the elite players who are the difference makers. Germany have plenty who fit both bills. — Julien Laurens


Stat of the day

Niclas Füllkrug’s goal was Germany’s third stoppage-time strike this tournament. That’s the most by any team in a single European Championship. — ESPN Stats & Information


Match previews for Monday

Group B: Albania vs. Spain (Düsseldorf; 9 p.m. local / 3 p.m. ET)

Odds (via ESPN BET): Albania +5500, Draw +340, Spain -210

During Euro 2024, Albania have held meetings in Madrid, brainstormed in Barcelona and eaten in Seville. Those are the names of some of the rooms and the cafeteria at the Sportcentrum Kamen-Kaiserau where they are based. They were given those names after Spain stayed there for the World Cup in 2006. Albania will desperately hope it is some sort of good omen ahead of their match against the Spanish in Düsseldorf, where they have the chance to create history by reaching the knockout rounds for the first time ever.

That is easier said than done against a Spain side who have impressed in wins over Croatia and Italy. However, with La Roja already through to the round of 16, and midfielder Rodri suspended, coach Luis de la Fuente is expected to make changes. That could help Albania, ranked 66th in the world by FIFA (only Georgia are lower-ranked at the finals), in their quest for the three points which would almost certainly earn passage into the next round. A draw to finish on two points is unlikely to be enough. — Sam Marsden

What every team needs to get through the group stage

Group B: Croatia vs. Italy (Leipzig; 9 p.m. local / 3 p.m. ET)

Odds: Croatia +210, Draw +220, Italy +135

Both Italy, coming off the 3-0 humiliation at the hands of Spain, and Croatia, who will almost certainly need a win to stay in contention, face Monday’s clash in Leipzig with trepidation. Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic kept things simple: “We were facing elimination in Qatar, too, and then went on to the semifinals … it’s as if the knockouts have already started and you have to win to advance.”

Dalic will need to make a big call with two key men of his “golden generation” with Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic both rumored to be facing being dropped for this game.

A draw would suffice for Italy, who say they will play for the win. If they do win, they’d be making history given that in eight previous encounters they have never beaten Croatia. Azzurri boss Luciano Spalletti is reportedly mulling wholesale changes, including replacing Jorginho in midfield with Nicolo Fagioli. It would be quite a comeback for the Juventus midfielder, who was suspended for gambling on football for most of the 2023-24 campaign. — Gabriele Marcotti

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Darmian: Italy have to avoid same mistakes vs. Croatia

Matteo Darmian insists Italy will learn from their mistakes against Spain when they face Croatia at Euro 2024.


Betting tip (odds via ESPN BET)

Both Italy and Croatia have disappointed so far this tournament. So many were critical of Italy’s performance against Spain, where they will were completely outplayed. Having said that I still think collectively they are better than Croatia. So, Italy +130. — Dan Thomas


One big read

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Laurens: Portugal much more convincing against Turkey

Julien Laurens reacts to Portugal’s improved performance in their 3-0 victory over Turkey at Euro 2024.

Cristiano Ronaldo is still the selfie king, even at 39 years old, 20 years after appearing at his first major tournament for Portugal. But it’s probably a sign of his waning influence on his national team that he registered more selfie attempts from picture-chasing fans than significant contributions for his country during Saturday’s 3-0 win against Turkey.

But Ronaldo is in Germany to play football, to help inspire Portugal to a second European title in three tournaments, and the harsh reality is that his powers are on the wane. The selfie stunts may end up being a distraction from his performance against Turkey, but no one can escape the truth forever, and Ronaldo, who was once the man who carried a nation’s hopes, might now end up holding his team back if they progress to the latter stages.

– Mark Ogden: Ronaldo’s declining ability could hurt Portugal


And finally …

Daughter’s wedding or Scotland game? Pat Nevin couldn’t choose …

Family is everything in the Nevin household. Pat, the former Scotland international and Chelsea and Everton winger, and his wife Annabel have two children, Simon and Lucy. And obviously when Lucy announced her engagement and wedding, everyone in the house in Duns, a small town in the Scottish Borders, was over the moon. The wedding was all organised in a gorgeous venue on the border with England for the weekend of June 22-23 … Then Scotland qualified for the Euros …

When the schedule came out it showed that Scotland would play their final group game, decisive to make it to the knockout stages for the first time in their history, on June 23.

As a loving father, Pat obviously couldn’t miss the wedding. Yet as a pundit and commentator for the BBC, he couldn’t miss what could be the biggest game in Scotland’s history either. So he celebrated the wedding on Saturday, left the venue at 5 a.m. on Sunday — when some guests had just gone to bed — and made it to Stuttgart for the game, hoping that the celebrations in Germany would be as joyous as the ones in Scotland. — Julien Laurens