When Germany hosts the European Championship in 2024, the tournament atmosphere may sap away a true home advantage. With millions of immigrants from across Europe now calling Germany home, the stands will be filled with passionate fans cheering on their home countries despite the games taking place on German soil.

Germany is home to a staggering 16.4 million people who were born outside the country – over 20% of the total population. This incredibly diverse populace means the 2024 Euros will take on the air of a virtual home tournament for many teams beyond just the hosts.

Turkish Delight in the Stands

The largest immigrant community in Germany is from Turkey, with around 2.9 million people of Turkish descent now residing in the country. The Turkish national team can expect raucous support at their group games in Dortmund and Hamburg.

“Turkey will have a home field atmosphere at the Euros,” said Turkey midfielder Salih Özcan. “You could already see what can happen in Berlin during the game against Germany in November. That was a little foretaste, I’d say.”

Tens of thousands of Turkish fans turned out for that November friendly win over Germany. With several players like Özcan, Kaan Ayhan, and Hakan Çalhanoğlu hailing from German cities, it will be a homecoming of sorts for the Turkish side.

A Polish Merseyside on the Rhine?

The second largest immigrant group in Germany is from Poland, with over 880,000 Polish citizens calling Germany home. Beyond that, experts estimate the total number of ethnic Poles at 2-3 million when factoring in multi-generational German residents.

With large Polish communities established in the Ruhr Valley cities like Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, and Bochum, games involving the Polish national team may have an unmistakable ‘home’ feel despite being hosted in Germany.

An Adriatic Homecoming

Rounding out the top immigrant communities are Italians, Romanians, and Croats – the 3rd, 4th, and 6th largest foreign-born populations in Germany, respectively. While precise numbers are difficult to measure across generations, there are likely over 1 million Italian-Germans, nearly 1.1 million Romanian-Germans, and over 500,000 Croatian-Germans residing in the country.

Players like Croatia’s Andrej Kramarić and Josip Brekalo will be taking the field in front of huge contingents of fans with Croatian roots, especially at games in the Bavarian cities of Munich and Dortmund where many are concentrated. Matches involving Italy, Romania, and other nations will enjoy vast away supporter sections thanks to Germany’s diversity.

Americans lead the race for Euro 2024 tickets

One surprising statistic around Euro 2024 ticketing is that the United States currently leads all countries in ticket sales at 27% of the total purchased so far. This edges out even Germany itself at 25%.

It may seem curious that so many Americans are attending. The numbers likely reflect the huge diaspora communities across the US for many of the competing nations. Fans with roots in Italy, Poland, Turkey, Greece, and elsewhere have scooped up tickets to cheer on their ancestral homelands.

This phenomenon is a familiar one for American sports fans. They often witness large traveling supporter sections for the Mexican national team or other immigrant communities. That often forces the United States to play home games in qualifying at smaller venues. Columbus, Cincinnati, Kansas City and other cities of that size have hosted games against Mexico. This will more than likely be reflected in the upcoming 2024 Copa America this summer. That will indeed be a “home” tournament of sorts for many ethnic American fans as well.

Does Germany have a ‘home advantage’ at Euro 2024?

Euro 2024 promises an incredible atmosphere for neutral fans. That simultaneously robs Germany of the inherent home advantage a host nation typically enjoys. Die Mannschaft may find itself as an unwelcome guest at its own party on multiple occasions. That is unless it goes up against a smaller nation without a strong population in Germany.

The raucous Turkish diaspora in the west. Well-traveled Polish and Italian contingents. Romanian, Croatian and other communities spread across the country. Germany’s incredible diversity means there will be no shortage of raucous away fans. Julian Nagelsmann’s side has a rare opportunity to play a major international tournament at home. The significance of that home advantage for Germany may not be as apparent.

While aimed at creating an incredible spectacle across the country, UEFA wants to create an incredible spectacle across the country. Taking Euro 2024 to the heart of Europe’s largest economy comes at a cost. For many of the migrants in Germany, Euro 2024 is a backdoor way to a home tournament. The tournament promises to make for an electric, diverse atmosphere unlike anything the European Championship has seen before.


Euro 2024

Here are some resources to get you ready for Euros!
Euro Bracket: Download a free PDF bracket for the tournament
Euro 2024 Schedule: Full schedule of all games for the 2024 tournament
How to watch: Information on where to find the games on TV and streaming
How to Stream Learn how you can stream Euro games live in 2024
2024 Soccer Calendar: Get the lowdown on what will be a busy year in soccer