Football News: Giorgi Kinkladze, Georgia’s UEFA Euro 2024 Debutant

Giorgi Kinkladze, a Manchester City cult hero from the club’s Maine Road days, is fondly remembered by 1990s English football fans for his gorgeous goals and dazzling dribbles. However, the mesmerizing playmaker from Tbilisi never had the opportunity to showcase his talents on international football’s biggest stages, as his homeland, Georgia, had yet to make its debut at a major tournament.

Georgia’s Debut at UEFA Euro 2024

But that is about to change. After 32 years of being a member of UEFA and FIFA, Georgia will finally take to the pitch at a major tournament for the first time, as they prepare to compete in Group F of the UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany. The excitement is palpable, and Kinkladze, who admitted to “tears of joy” when Georgia sealed their qualification, believes this could be a transformative moment for the country and its football.

“It’s the first time but we believe in ourselves. The country is buzzing and it’s exciting,” Kinkladze told FourFourTwo in an exclusive interview. “We are positive, no pressure.”

With a population of just 3.7 million, Georgia is a beautiful, ancient country sitting in the Caucasus where Europe meets Asia. Kinkladze believes that the national team’s success in the Euros could have a significant impact on the development of grassroots football in the country, as more and more Georgians are starting to lace up their boots and take up the sport, inspired by the exploits of their national team and the world-class talent of Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

“Succeeding in the Euros is not just about winning matches. It is about showcasing the strength and unity of our country. It is about making every Georgian believe,” Kinkladze added.

Facing the Challenges

Willy Sagnol’s underdogs will have the neutrals on their side as the only tournament debutants and the lowest-ranked side at the Euros. They face Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Portugal in their group stage matches, but Kinkladze and the Georgian faithful remain positive and hopeful that this could be their moment to shine on the world stage.

๐Ÿ”— Source