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Mbappe v Ronaldo? Rangnick Revenge? Your Guide to Euro 2024 Knockout Stage

Mbappe v Ronaldo? Rangnick Revenge? Your Guide to Euro 2024 Knockout Stage

With 36 games completed and eight teams eliminated, the European Championship in Germany moves into the knockout phase.

Twenty-four teams remain, each vying to be one of the two finalists at Euro 2024 in Berlin on 14 July.

BBC Sport highlights key points to watch in the knockout stages.

Is This Germany’s Year?

Home advantage can be a game-changer, and there’s growing belief in Germany that they could win it all. The optimism was palpable as fan zones filled up for their opening game against Scotland. After a resounding 5-1 victory, confidence soared. With a talented squad, a passionate fan base, and a young, innovative manager in Julian Nagelsmann, Germany has a golden opportunity to reach the final in Berlin.

Ronaldo’s Goal and an Mbappe Match-Up?

Cristiano Ronaldo, joint top scorer at Euro 2020, hasn’t scored in the group stage of Euro 2024—a first in his Euros or World Cup history. Despite 12 shots on goal, he’s yet to find the net. If Portugal and France both advance past the last-16, a Ronaldo-Mbappe showdown in the quarter-finals is on the cards, with Ronaldo eager to upstage the young French star.

Belgium’s Struggles

Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ may be past its prime, but expectations remain high for the world’s third-ranked team. However, they’ve underwhelmed so far. A goalless draw with Ukraine led to fan frustration, despite Belgium making it to the knockout stages. Kevin De Bruyne has called for fan support, but Belgium needs to win back their fans’ trust.

Spain’s Rising Stars

Spain’s young talents, including Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal, have dazzled at Euro 2024. With their fearless and creative play, they’ve shown they can compete at the highest level. At just 16, Barcelona’s Yamal has already made a significant impact. Spain’s fans are energized, and the team’s youthful exuberance could carry them far.

Dutch Fans’ Vibrant Presence

Dutch fans have brought color and energy to Euro 2024. In cities like Hamburg, Leipzig, and Berlin, they’ve turned the streets bright orange with their singing and dancing. Next, Munich will experience this vibrant spectacle as the Netherlands face Romania in their last-16 match. Curious about their catchy anthem? Search ‘Links Rechts’ for a taste of their spirit.

Austria’s Fast Starts

Austria, led by former Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick, has been a standout team at Euro 2024. Known for their high-energy play, they topped a tough group that included the Netherlands and France. Austria’s quick starts have been a key feature, with early goals in two of their three group games. Turkey will need to be on high alert from the start in their last-16 clash. Could Rangnick’s tactics propel Austria to a deep run and surprise English football in the semi-finals?

The knockout stages promise excitement, drama, and unforgettable moments as teams battle for a place in the Euro 2024 final.

Credit: BBC Sport

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