Euro 2024 social round-up: Mou and Fergie link up, Pickford's quiz and Pavard the photographer

By Sports Desk June 14, 2024

Euro 2024 hosts Germany got off to a flying start as they comprehensively dispatched Scotland 5-1 on Friday.

Goals from Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz and Niclas Fullkrug blew Scotland away at the Allianz Arena.

But while the football entertained, there was also plenty of action on social media.

Here's a pick of the best posts.

The special... two?

Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson enjoyed a great rivalry on the touchline down the years, but there was no sign of that as the two watched on from the stands in Munich.

Unfortunately for Ferguson, Scotland were on the receiving end of a hammering.

We can only wonder what these two greats had to say about Scotland's sorry performance, though surely they will have been full of praise for Germany.

Honouring a great

Franz Beckenbauer passed away in January, and ahead of the opening game, his wife Heidi led a touching tribute to der Kaiser.

Moral support

Nathan Patterson is not fit to feature for Scotland, but the Everton full-back has travelled out to Germany to support his team-mates.

Unfortunately for Scotland, it didn't quite work out, and Patterson will be needing to provide plenty of moral support after their heavy defeat in Munich.

Pickford gets quizzed

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was fulfilling his media duties on Friday, and he stopped by to answer some fan questions ahead of the Three Lions' opener against Serbia.

Pickford was quizzed on how he copes with the pressure as kick-off approaches - "Enjoy the moment", he said - while revealing former England shot-stopper Joe Hart, who retired last month, has served as an inspiration.

Young guns exciting Schweinsteiger 

Bastian Schweinsteiger helped Germany to World Cup glory in 2014, so it feels like he is pretty well placed to pass judgement on up and coming stars.

And when asked on X for the players he was most excited to see in action at Euro 2024, the former Bayern Munich midfielder picked out Florian Wirtz, Cole Palmer and Rafael Leao.

Wirtz certainly delivered, as he starred in Germany's big win over Scotland. Will Palmer and Leao be equally as impressive for England and Portugal respectively?

Picture perfect

Olivier Giroud is one handsome devil, so it's no surprise that he's a photographer's dream.

That being said, it's rare that the person behind the camera is one of his team-mates, but Giroud could only smile, and offer a cheeky pose, as Benjamin Pavard sneakily grabbed a camera and tried to get the perfect shot while the France number nine was holding a press conference.

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  • "Test Cricket is always a challenge"-Brathwaite disappointed with first Test performance but expects similar bounce back to Australia series "Test Cricket is always a challenge"-Brathwaite disappointed with first Test performance but expects similar bounce back to Australia series

    West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite has described his team’s performance in the first Test against England at Lord’s as “disappointing” but expects them to bounce back similarly to how they did against Australia in January.

    England completed an innings and 114-run victory over the West Indies inside three days on Friday.

    “It’s quite disappointing but it’s gone. We have two Test matches left in this series and we have to look ahead and stay mentally tough. That’s important for us,” Brathwaite said in Friday’s post-match press conference.

    During their tour of Australia in January, the West Indies were similarly dominated by 10 wickets in the first Test in Adelaide before bouncing back with a historic eight-run win over their much stronger opponents in the second Test in Brisbane.

    “Yeah for sure,” was Brathwaite’s response when asked if he believes this group can replicate that performance in response to a big loss.

    “Every individual I believe in 100%. I know they can get the job done at this level so I believe in them for sure,” he added.

    The 31-year-old also saw a few positives from the team’s performance in the first Test against England, mainly in the bowling department.

    “Positives? We did bowl them out, albeit 50-60 runs too many. With the bat, we got three guys that got to 20-add and batted for an hour. We caught decently as well,” he said.

    Brathwaite also said it’s too early to determine whether or not changes will be made to the XI for the second Test at Trent Bridge starting on July 18.

    “It’s a little too early to decide. Obviously, it’s a different pitch we’ll be playing on so when we get there we’ll know,” he said.

    Individually, since his 182 against Zimbabwe last February, Brathwaite’s form at the highest level has taken a massive downturn.

    He has scored one fifty in his last 16 innings, 75 against India in Port-of-Spain last July.

    Since that Zimbabwe series, Brathwaite has scored 227 runs in 16 innings at an average of 15.13.

    Brathwaite believes something big is around the corner.

    “I’m coping okay. Test cricket is always a challenge but, as I say to the boys as well it’s the same thing for myself, you’ve just got to stay mentally tough. You’ve got to believe that something’s coming around the corner. Just keep doing the right things and everything will work out,” he said.

     

     

     

  • Stokes labels Anderson as 'one of the GOATs' following West Indies triumph Stokes labels Anderson as 'one of the GOATs' following West Indies triumph

    Ben Stokes labelled Gus Atkinson's debut England Test as "unbelievable", going on to call the retiring James Anderson "one of the GOATs" of English cricket. 

    Stokes captained England to a comfortable triumph over the West Indies at Lord's on Friday, winning by an innings and 114 runs. 

    Anderson ended his glittering career in style, bowling out Joshua Da Silva (9) for his 704th and final wicket for England. 

    "A lot of people turned up to watch us but it was great to send Jimmy off the way he deserves," Stokes said.  

    "We weren't quite banking on it to finish on day three but it is an amazing crowd. He is one of the 'GOATs' of English cricket.

    "We had Gus Atkinson on debut with a chance of getting a 10-fer and Jimmy in his last game.

    "It would have been an amazing end for him to take the last wicket like his great mate Stuart Broad but the one positive is no-one will lose sleep over it as he is the one who dropped it, he only has himself to blame."

    Meanwhile, Atkinson became just the 19th male player to take a 10-fer on his Test match debut, his figures of 12-106 are the fourth-best anyone has managed in their first match.

    The Surrey fast bowler claimed the final wicket on Friday to cap off a memorable debut, drawing praise from Stokes. 

    "Unbelievable. The first time I saw him in person was against India at the World Cup. I had seen him on TV before but when you observe someone in person you get an understanding," Stokes added. 

    "He isn't just about out-and-out pace, he has the skill as well. His ceiling is so high. Jamie Smith as well, two players having excellent debuts."

  • Colorado Rapids v New York Red Bulls: Armas says past results count for nought Colorado Rapids v New York Red Bulls: Armas says past results count for nought

    The Colorado Rapids are seeking a fifth straight home win when they face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, but coach Chris Armas says their previous results will count for nothing if they do not execute on the day.

    Colorado sit fourth in the Western Conference, six points behind leaders Los Angeles FC, after winning five of their last six games (one defeat).

    At DICK'S Sporting Goods Park, they have won their last four matches against Austin FC (2-0), CF Montreal (4-1), Sporting Kansas City (2-1) and St. Louis City (4-1).

    Armas, however, says all that good work could easily be undone if they do not understand how to combat the Red Bulls' high-pressing style.

    "It's five out of the last six that we've won but this is the past. We have to reset and be ready against a really good team," Armas said.

    "Part one is to understand the opposition and part two is to execute. This is very specific, they're very clear in the way they play.

    "I've seen a lot of teams play against them but it's not easy against that philosophy. It's very intensive and you have to actually go out and execute your plan."  

    The Red Bulls are also flying high, sitting fourth in the East after going five games unbeaten, though four of those have finished level.

    They have lost key attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg to injury and he is expected to be sidelined for at least a month, but head coach Sandro Schwarz is confident they can cope.

    "With Emil the situation is now clear, but we also played the last two games without Emil," Schwarz said. "We showed, for me, very good performances.

    "He's a key player, for sure, but now we have to handle it and it's my job with the coaching staff to cope with this. Hopefully he will come back as soon as possible."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH 

    Colorado Rapids – Cole Bassett

    Bassett, Kevin Cabral and Jonathan Lewis all had a goal and an assist in the Rapids' 4-1 win over St. Louis last Sunday, the first time three Rapids players had done so in the same match since 2008 – Mehdi Ballouchy, Colin Clark and Tom McManus versus the Red Bulls.

    Bassett's seven goals in MLS this term have only been bettered by Rafael Navarro (11) and Djordje Mihailovic (10) among Colorado players.

    New York Red Bulls – Dante Vanzier

    Vanzier averages 0.42 assists per 90 minutes in MLS this year, the fifth-best figure in the competition, while he has also created 1.55 chances per game.

    The Red Bulls may have to absorb plenty of pressure on Saturday, but they will be keen to get Vanzier involved whenever they manage to mount an attack.

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    The Rapids have won their last two meetings with the Red Bulls, including an incredible 5-4 victory the last time the sides faced off in 2022. Colorado had only won three of their previous 12 matches against them in all competitions dating back to 2010.

    Colorado have won seven of their last nine games on home soil (one draw, one loss), including their last four in a row, their longest home winning streak since a six-match run spanning the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

    The Red Bulls, though, are solid opponents and played out a goalless draw on the road against the Philadelphia Union last time out – their fourth of the campaign. It would be no surprise to see them attempt to keep things tight again here.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Colorado Rapids – 36.8%

    New York Red Bulls – 37%

    Draw – 26.3%

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