Julian Nagelsmann banking on blend of old and new for Germany

Hosts have oldest average age at tournament but mixture of experience and youthful talent could pay off at Euro 2024

Sometimes, in an effort to mix things up towards the end of Germany’s training sessions, Julian Nagelsmann cooks up a clash of generations. The more youthful half of his unit contest a match against their seniors and it is, in the manager’s words, “always a hard fight”. Neither team consistently holds sway over the other and any battle lines are purely cosmetic. “To have a good mix is really positive,” he said. “The mood in our camp is excellent and the connection between the younger and older players is really good.”

Germany’s blend clicked to delightful effect against Scotland. Their youngest players, the 21-year-olds Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz, scored fine goals and were given their platform by an experienced base like no other. Given their speed and verve it is a surprise to note that Germany have the highest average age at Euro 2024; it is even more of an eye-opener that, should they lift the trophy in Berlin next month, they will be the oldest European champions in the tournament’s history.

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