UEFA is all set to announce the host country for Euro 2024 on Thursday. Germany's ambassador for the European Championship, Philipp Lahm, discussed the country's preparations in detail while speaking with Deutsche Welle.
The former captain and World Cup winner is excited to host a major tournament and, like everyone else, is looking forward to the announcement:
I find it great to be the European Championship ambassador. It would be fantastic to be able to host this tournament in our own country. It brings people together – in Europe but particularly in Germany. I experienced how it was during the 2006 World Cup, so I was only to happy to do this.
One of the many advantages Germany have over Turkey is that all the stadiums that Germany would use in the Euro Cup already exist. Lahm is eyeing a repetition of the 2006 World Cup in 2024:
We have already proven that we are capable of organizing major football tournaments. We have the infrastructure, we have the stadiums. Everything is ready to go. And we are hospitable, which we proved in 2006 too. We were able to celebrate a big party with all of our guests. We want to demonstrate this again in 2024.
Lahm acknowledges that the home team has a certain advantage in tournaments, but he emphasizes that hosting the event would help the national team and Germany come together again, alluding to recent allegations of racism made by Mesut Özil against the president of the DFB and ongoing social debate over immigration and refugees:
The past has shown that the home team does have a certain advantage. We saw this most recently at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. However, I believe another point is more important: This would give us the opportunity to come together again as a national team, but even more importantly as a society. This tournament would give us that opportunity.
Seeing Philipp Lahm at the Allianz Arena again, working with the Bavarians, is the dream of every fan of Die Roten. But Lahm is currently focused on the preparations for the Euro as head of the organising committee. His future at Bayern, meanwhile, remains undecided:
My attention is focused on the 27th of September, the day on which it is to be decided who will host Euro 2024. That’s critical. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens after that. If we win, I will become head of the organizing committee. That would certainly be a great job as well. What happens beyond that, we’ll just have to wait and see.
A while ago, Lahm had said that he doesn't want to get into coaching. It seems he still hasn't changed his mind:
At the moment I couldn’t imagine being on the pitch day in and day out. I experienced how Pep Guardiola worked every day. He had football on his mind round the clock: “What system does the opponent like to play? How do I want to set up my team, who do I want in which position?” I can’t imagine doing that at the moment. I am 34 years old. I don’t know what the future will bring.