Panoramic photo of Düsseldorf at night with the Ergo Tower in the background, Rhine embankment promenade and Ferris wheel.

Düsseldorf in football fever: excitement mounts for UEFA EURO 2024

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Ready for kick-off: the final draw for UEFA EURO 2024

Anticipation is growing in Düsseldorf as UEFA EURO 2024 approaches. The final draw for this major sporting event took place on 2 December 2023 in Hamburg’s Elbe Philharmonic Hall. The Visit Düsseldorf team is also eagerly looking forward to the Euros, and we now know which nations we will be hosting in the city this summer.

All eyes on the draw

The Visit Düsseldorf team has gathered over pizza and altbier in Düsseldorf Arena to watch the final draw for UEFA EURO 2024 from Hamburg’s Elbe Philharmonic Hall. Everyone is excited to see which teams will be playing in Düsseldorf, and the room is filled with anticipation as the first team is announced: Spain. Quickly followed by France, Austria, Albania and Slovakia. And local fan favourite Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson could be involved with Iceland if his team makes it through the playoffs. Vying with Iceland for a playoff berth in path B will be Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ukraine. The last three places at the Euros will be decided in the final playoff games on 26 March 2024.

The stage in Hamburg’s Elbe Philharmonic Hall, bathed in red and yellow as Spain is drawn.
(Photo: Getty Images by UEFA)

The teams visiting Düsseldorf

UEFA EURO 2024 promises football of the highest calibre, attracting fans from across Europe. We want everybody visiting Düsseldorf to feel like they’re at a home game. To add to the excitement, we have organised a EURO 2024 festival of music, culture and, of course, plenty of football.

Spain – the masters of tiki-taka
Spain’s national team is renowned for its passing game and qualified for UEFA EURO 2024 as group winners. La Roja is a heavy favourite in any match, and the team is sure to raise the roof in Arena Düsseldorf. We might even get to see footballing legend Raúl again. The former Spain and Real Madrid superstar played for Schalke 04 for two years and lived in Düsseldorf, where he was a regular at the Serafino Palatini ice-cream parlour. But even if he doesn’t make it to Düsseldorf, the city streets will be bouncing to the cries of ‘Olé, Olé’.

France – passion, pace and power
The star names of Les Bleus are ready to delight Düsseldorf with their speed and skill. Indeed the French team qualified for EURO 2024 as winners of their group. Nicolas Gavory, a defender who plays for the local Fortuna Düsseldorf team, will be looking forward to the visit of his home country. Düsseldorf’s proximity to France means plenty of French fans, who will add their ‘savoir vivre’ to the city as they paint it blue, white and red. The team is one of the favourites for the title alongside Spain. All that remains to say is ‘Allez les Bleus!’

The UEFA EURO 2024 trophy
Every player hopes to get his hands on the trophy. (Photo: Getty Images by UEFA)

Albania – the surprise package
Albania, the Balkan state with a big passion for football, surprised everyone by qualifying for UEFA EURO 2024 as group winners. It will be only the second time they have qualified for the European championships. Former Germany defender Hans-Peter Briegel managed the national team from 2002 to 2006, during which time he achieved cult status following some spectacular victories. Some fans even named their children Briegel in his honour! Seasoned Fortuna Düsseldorf supporters will also recall their very own Albanian player, Igli Tare. The forward played for the club from 1997 to 1999 and scored 24 goals in 63 appearances in Germany’s second division.

Austria – a team on the up
Austria, who made it to the final 16 in the previous tournament, qualified for UEFA EURO 2024 as runners-up in their group. They also recently enjoyed an impressive win over Germany in a friendly. And Fortuna Düsseldorf has an Austrian on its books. Benjamin Böckle, a 21-year-old defender, is currently on loan at Preußen Münster and will return to Düsseldorf in the summer. Austria has the potential to be one of the surprises of the tournament, so we’re eager to see how far the team and its fans make it.

The mascot takes to the stage.
The mascot Albärt is set to start his #MakeMoves campaign, which will take him to schools across Europe. (Photo: Getty Images by UEFA)

Slovakia – the qualification specialists
The Slovakian national team will have to do without the now retired Marek Hamšík and his famous mohawk hairstyle. Qualifying as group runner-up, the team will bring an engaging mix of footballing passion and tradition to Düsseldorf. While the small European nation might be regarded as dark horses at best, Slovakia can rely on the fervent support of its fanbase. Coach Francesco Calzona will add some Italian guile to the team and hopes to cause a surprise at the tournament.

Here’s a hot tip for the EURO 2024 festival: head to Düsseldorf’s fan zones to experience the city’s amazing atmosphere and hospitality. It’s a great opportunity to meet fans from across Europe, enjoy the entertaining programme and watch the matches together!
Further information about the EURO 2024 festival in Düsseldorf is available at visitduesseldorf.de.

Text: Tim Schoster
Main photo: Visit Düsseldorf
To underline the sense of anticipation and welcome, the city of Düsseldorf joined forces with insurance company Ergo, official national partner of UEFA EURO 2024, to project the results of the draw onto the Ergo Tower building. The best place to see the illuminations was from the banks of the Rhine near the Tonhalle concert hall and from Oberkasseler bridge.

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