Steve McManaman was left red-faced after being admonished by the Euro 2024 draw host on Saturday evening. The Liverpool icon picked up his ball too early, causing some confusion inside the arena in Germany.
McManaman was one of the football legends helping to conduct the draw for next summer’s tournament. England had their road to glory mapped out in Hamburg, with Gareth Southgate’s side handed a relatively favourable draw.
But the draw was not quite a smooth process. McManaman was amusingly told off by the host after picking up his ball too early.
The former midfielder had the job of picking up the balls that decided which group a nation entered. Ex-Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder had picked up the ball containing Turkey.
McManaman picked up the ball and with a confused expression asked: “Is it this one? It’s this one…”
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There was a pause with McManaman awkwardly continuing to point at the ball in his hand. Presenter Pedro Pinto said: “Adjust the position. We were a little bit too fast!”
BBC commentator Steve Bower admitted that McManaman had been ‘dreading’ his involvement in the draw. “Get it right, Steve! I was with him on Tuesday night, he said he was looking forward to this but dreading it at the same time,” Bower revealed.
England were handed a draw that will please Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane. The Three Lions have been drawn in Group C alongside Denmark, Slovenia and Serbia.
Southgate’s side met Serbia in the group stages of Euro 2020, before beating Denmark in the semi-final at Wembley.
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“I don’t think England can complain with that group. It’s pretty favourable when you look at some of the other teams who have been drawn against each other,” said former England captain Alan Shearer.
“So yeah, I think Gareth will be extremely happy.”
Scotland will kick off the tournament against hosts Germany on June 14. The Scots have also been drawn in a group with Hungary and Switzerland.
England face Serbia in Gelsenkirchen on June 16 in their opening game. The Three Lions finished as the runners-up at Euro 2020, losing the final against Italy at Wembley.