The German Football Association (DFB) has confirmed that Germany will play friendlies against fellow European powerhouses Spain and Italy in March, the national team’s first two friendlies of the new calendar year as a warm-up match before the Euro 2020 showdown in June. Joachim Löw’s men will travel to Madrid on March 26th to face Spain, before welcoming Italy to Nuremberg on March 31st.
“Last Saturday’s EURO 2020 draw made for even more excitement ahead of the tournament. We want to make sure our team is well-prepared for the challenging group and the tournament on the whole. For this reason, we are delighted about the two first opponents in 2020,” said DFB President Fritz Keller after the draw.
Germany against the other two most successful football nations in Europe, Spain and Italy have produced a lot of classic matches and introduced remarkable national team players for a long time now. The Germany-Italy rivalry alone is one of the long-running rivalries in the European football and their derbies always display intense football action.
The 1970 semifinal where Italy won 4-3 in extra time was called the “Game of the Century” and it was so thrilling that it is commemorated by a plaque at the entrance of the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Their last head-to-head in a competitive match was last Euro 2016 where they met at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux during the quarter-finals and it ended in a 1–1 draw after extra time.
“The games against Spain and Italy will give our young team some more experience of playing at the highest international level. We’re also pleased to be playing in Nuremberg, not only because our EURO headquarters are nearby in Herzogenaurach, but also because we’re playing our EURO group games in Munich. We want to get all the local fans excited for the tournament with a good performance,” DFB President Fritz Keller added.
Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff said in a statement, “With Spain and Italy, we will face two exceptional teams in the run-up to the tournament, which will be highly valuable.” Germany were placed in Group F alongside title-holders Portugal, world champions France and another team yet to qualify until the play-off in March. Spain take on Sweden, Poland and another team yet to qualify from the play-offs in Group E, while Italy are in Group A alongside Wales, Switzerland and Turkey.
Confirmed fixtures of Germany in 2020 are as follows:
26 March, friendly: Spain vs. Germany, Madrid
31 March, friendly: Germany vs. Italy, Nuremberg
16 June: EURO 2020, France vs. Germany, Munich
20 June: EURO 2020, Portugal vs. Germany, Munich
24 June: EURO 2020, Germany vs. playoff winner A/D, Munich