Spain v Georgia LIVE: Latest Euro 2024 build-up and team news

Spain v Georgia LIVE: Latest Euro 2024 build-up and team news
Germany fans sing You’ll Never Walk Alone before Euro 2024 match

Spain take on Georgia at Euro 2024 for a place in the quarter-finals.

La Roja have shone in Germany with Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams providing a spark to establish Luis de la Fuente’s side as one of the favourites.

A magnificent display against Italy was followed up by a much-changed Spain outfit edging past Albania to maintain the only 100 percent record in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Georgia have grown in confidence behind Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Metz striker Georges Mikautadze, who has been linked with West Ham, to create history under Willy Sagnol.

Follow all the latest updates from Cologne plus the result and reaction from Gelsenkirchen as England play Slovakia:


Spain v Georgia – Euro 2024

Our football reporter Karl Matchett is in Cologne ahead of the late game between Spain v Georgia, here’s the latest:

Spanish fans are expectant though and on the journey here, plenty of them were already talking openly about their chances against Germany – who they will meet in the quarter-finals if they win tonight.

Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 17:15


Spain v Georgia – Euro 2024

(AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 17:00


Spain v Georgia – Euro 2024

Our football reporter Karl Matchett is in Cologne ahead of the late game between Spain v Georgia, here’s the latest:

It’s still very early with kickoff 4 hours away but already the fans are flocking towards Cologne stadium – No doubt having heard it can be difficult to do so nearer the time from previous matches.

Spain supporters are certainly more numerous than Georgia fans at this early stage, but those from the debutant nation who are here looking good spirits and for the most part are bearing the name of their hero on the back of their jerseys, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 16:45


The unravelling of Luciano Spalletti leaves Italy with huge problems but no solutions

After the ill-fated start to Italy football’s campaign, it was a bizarre end. Were the Azzurri, Luciano Spalletti was asked, a Fiat Panda and Switzerland football a Ferrari? “You have to accept everything, even rather tasteless allusions like yours,” said the Italy manager. “You are clearly a wonderful exponent of sarcasm.” With that, he asked his interrogator’s name, smiled and took his leave.

From Euro 2024 but not, seemingly, from the Azzurri job. Italy’s worst European Championships for 20 years will not prompt Spalletti to resign. Rather, his inquest arrowed in on what he believes the failings are in Italian football, the types of players they do not possess and which they need. He did it while claiming he was not picking on the footballers he believes have produced two sub-par performances in a competition that only brought them one win. “There is no blame to anyone, I want to stress this,” he said. “The responsibility for what happens is mine.”

It was a noble attempt to spare others criticism. Yet there may be a truth: perhaps Spalletti and Italy are a mismatch of an impossible ideal and a relatively prosaic group. Euro 2024 showed a side that was less than the sum of its parts, where they only scored three goals, where the most recent and spectacular of them, from Mattia Zaccagni in the 98th-minute against Croatia, spared them a group-stage exit only to become the first team eliminated in the last 16.

Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 16:30


Penalty shootouts are no longer a lottery and England may just have the edge

For Gareth Southgate, there is always the possibility it will come back to penalties. It is his history; England’s, too. It is also the nature of international football. The last World Cup final was decided on spot kicks, along with two quarter-finals and two last-16 ties. In Euro 2020, they determined a last-16 game, a quarter-final, a semi-final and, as England know to their cost, the final.

And yet this season’s Champions League contained its first shootout since the 2016 final. Maybe it is a consequence of one-off ties in neutral venues, maybe the way the margins can be narrower in the international game when managers lack the same time to develop a style of play and a level of cohesion to win games in regulation time. Or perhaps it is just something innate to the England manager and his team.

It is 28 years now since Andreas Kopke dived to his right to parry Southgate’s rather tame spot kick in Euro ’96. Southgate himself is responsible for bringing more thought, more practice, more science to the discipline a variety of players and managers used to describe simply as “a lottery”. Perhaps it wasn’t when England got their cathartic win against Colombia in the 2018 World Cup. Planning and practice did not make perfect against Italy in the Euro 2020 final, however. Even the tournament when his England did not have a shootout featured a crucial penalty, ballooned by Harry Kane over Hugo Lloris’ bar as France won a 2022 World Cup quarter-final.

Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 16:15


Alejandro Grimaldo on competition with Chelsea left-back Marc Cucurella for Spain

“What happened a few months before is in the past now. Football changes quickly. We know this is going to be a tough game. The team is focused and confident of playing a great game and reaching the quarter-finals,” he said.

“It’s all or nothing, you can’t make a mistake. We need to go out from the first minute without errors … We’re just focused on ourselves, and it’s going well for us so far.

“We’re friends despite playing in the same position. We get on well. He’s played two great games, and I played a great game against Albania,” said Grimaldo, who tends to be more attack-minded than Cucurella, giving coach Luis de la Fuente attractive options depending on the opposition.

“We have the same aim. There’s no rivalry. I think competition is healthy. The one who decides is the boss, not us.”

Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 16:00


Euro 2024: Spain v Georgia

Spain's Nico Williams controls the ball during a training session
Spain’s Nico Williams controls the ball during a training session (AP)
Spain's Joselu controls the ball during a training session
Spain’s Joselu controls the ball during a training session (AP)
Spain's head coach Luis de la Fuente gestures during a training session
Spain’s head coach Luis de la Fuente gestures during a training session (AP)
Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 15:45


Lamine Yamal switches focus to Euro 2024 knockout match after passing school exams

Lamine Yamal may have helped Spain cruise into the knockout stages of Euro 2024 but the 16-year-old has not neglected his schoolwork, with the Barcelona winger announcing that he had passed his secondary education exams.

Yamal, who broke into the Barcelona and Spain starting lineups this season, became the youngest player to appear at a European Championship when Spain beat Croatia in their group opener earlier this month.

The teenager has clearly been putting in the hard work both on and off the pitch.

“I passed the exams and I have the ESO title now,” Yamal told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

“The last grades I’ve seen? If I’m honest, I saw them on my phone and it said I had passed so I just closed the app, called my mum and told her.”

Spain are one of the favourites after becoming the only team to win all three of their games in the group stage, where they beat defending champions Italy and Croatia.

They play Georgia in the last 16 and may face hosts Germany in the quarter-finals.

“Everything we’ve done in the group stage will be worthless if they knock us out on Sunday. We’ve already played against them (in the qualifiers), but we know it won’t be the same game,” Yamal added.

As Spain seek a record fourth Euros title, Yamal will hope they can go all the way with his 17th birthday falling on the eve of the final.

Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 15:30


Willy Sagnol backs Georgia to seize chance against Spain

“When you’re the small team, you know you have nothing to lose,” the Frenchman said. “The only thing we said before the competition is whatever happened, we don’t want any regrets after the competition, the regret of maybe not having played our football or maybe not having enjoyed the competition as much as we should have done.

“So, you have no weight on your shoulders. It’s difficult when you’re France, when you’re England, when you’re Spain, when you’re Portugal, because you’re under pressure, because people expect you to win.

“The only responsibility we had was to make the Georgian nation proud of their players. And I think we’ve done it the best way.”

Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 15:15


Willy Sagnol vows to attack Spain in Euro 2024 last 16 tie

“Against Spain, Portugal, big teams, when you’re Georgia, if you only think about how to defend, you know at some point you will crumble,” he said.

“So no, we are not only going to defend. Like against Portugal, we will show the Spanish team and Europe that we are not only good at defending, but also using the ball.

“We had great moments in possession against Portugal and I hope tomorrow we can see same kind of performance.”

Jack Rathborn30 June 2024 15:00