Luxembourg’s Euros dreamland could lead to close shave for legend Philipp

Team long counted among Europe’s minnows are two games from qualification, starting with the playoff in Georgia

A seismic event will hit Luxembourg’s football scene if the national team win in Georgia on Thursday and repeat the trick next Tuesday against Greece or Kazakhstan. The country will prepare to lose a trademark part of its football scene because Paul Philipp, the president of its football federation, will appear live on television to shave off the moustache he has sported for more than 40 years. Should it come to pass, Philipp will probably navigate a whirlwind of emotions and conclude that the ordeal was worth it.

That is because Luxembourg, ranked 85th in the world by Fifa, stand two victories from a place at Euro 2024, a statement that would once have resembled fantasy. At the start of the qualifiers their previous 56 matches on that stage had yielded 15 points; attempts to reach the European Championship or World Cup have frequently finished winless or pointless and, while not in the San Marino bracket, for decades they were regarded as one of the continent’s smallest fry.

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