Spain and Luis de la Fuente now know which three teams they will face in the group stage of the upcoming Euro 2024, which kicks off on June 14, and the draw could not have been much more unfavourable, with Group B being labeled the ‘group of death.’
The first team drawn against Spain was Albania, managed by former Barcelona player Sylvinho, who will face Spain in a major tournament for the first time. This match will be Spain’s final match of the group stages and will be played in Düsseldorf on June 24.
Croatia was the next team drawn in Group B, and the two teams will face each other in the first group game on June 15 in Berlin. Croatia were, of course, the 2018 World Cup runners-up and were most recently one of the finalists in the UEFA Nations League in 2022. However, the other finalists in Rotterdam that year were Spain, who came out on top that night in Rotterdam.
Italy complete the ‘group of death’
The team in pot four that everyone was hoping to avoid was Italy. Their poor run of form stretching back for two years has seen them drop down to the final pot as they just scraped through the European qualifiers, finishing second behind England.
Italy were drawn with Spain to complete a group that promises to be difficult for all involved. Italy’s poor run of form should not be taken lightly; they are the holders after beating England on penalties in 2021, and they will hope to have a resurgence under new manager Luciano Spalletti, who recently won the Scudetto with Napoli. The two teams will face each other on June 20 in Gelsenkirchen.
GSFN | Finn Entwistle