In the draw in Frankfurt on Sunday, the ÖFB team did not draw an easy, but also not an unsolvable group for qualifying for EURO 2024 in Germany. Team leader Ralf Rangnick’s squad will face Belgium and Sweden, among others. Two teams qualify.
When he took office with the Austrian national team, team boss Ralf Rangnick made participation in the 2024 European Championships in his home country Germany his big goal.
But the road to get there will be quite rocky. The ÖFB team, from pot two in the draw, meets Belgium, Sweden, Azerbaijan and Estonia in Group F.
As hosts, Germany automatically qualifies for the finals. Unlike France before the EM 2016, the selection of the German Football Association (DFB) did not play a guest role in the qualification.
Rangnick: Belgium older but “still a difficult opponent”
“There would have been easier groups, but maybe also more difficult constellations. Sweden and Belgium definitely want to qualify like us. We have to make sure that we’re in top shape and finish in the top two,” said Rangnick in a first reaction.
Despite aging top performers like Eden Hazard (31), Axel Witsel (33), Toby Alderweireld (33) and Jan Vertonghen (35), the Belgians are second in the world rankings behind Brazil. Sweden is 25th, Austria 34th. “I know a few players from my previous stations, it will be interesting to meet them again. Belgium has a lot of older players from the golden generation, but that’s still it a tough opponent.”
The schedule for qualification is now in place
The national team will start qualifying on March 24th and 27th, 2023 with home games against Azerbaijan and Estonia. The away game in Belgium continues on June 17, before Ralf Rangnick’s squad face Sweden on June 20.
On September 12, the away duel with Sweden is on the program. On October 13th, Belgium will be visiting Austria. After this home game, the ÖFB-Elf will travel to Azerbaijan, where the game will be played on October 16th.
At the end of the European Championship qualifiers on November 16th we will be away against Estonia.
European Championship qualification: The groups
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D||Group E|
|Georgia||Greece||North Macedonia||Turkey||Faroe Islands|
|Group F||Group G||Group H||Group I||Group J|