Scotland fans branded 'friendliest Army in the world' by besotted German media as Cologne begs for return

Scotland fans have been labelled 'the friendliest Army in the world’ by Euro 2024 hosts Germany.

Around 200,000 Tartan Army foot soldiers descended on Munich last week for the country's Euro opener.

One week on, the kilted hordes have won the admiration of the host nation, with Germans declaring "we love you Scots."

German internet news service Blick carried a major piece on the history of the Tartan Army under the headline, ‘The history of the friendliest army in the world.’

Local Newspaper the Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger said simply “We love you Scots” and devoted all of Thursday's page 3 to stories and images of their visit to North Rhein-Westphalia.

The headline read, in English: "No Scotland, No Party".

TV station NTV were just as gushing in their praise. They said: "The ‘Tartan Army’ is famous. She has a powerful voice, a beer spirit - and also has a heart for other people."

On Thursday morning the thousands of Scots who were packing their bags after spending an incredible few days in Cologne said the news came as no surprise to them.

Dermott McMahon (middle) and Pals Andy Farr and Will Shanks from Lanarkshire
Dermott McMahon (middle) and Pals Andy Farr and Will Shanks from Lanarkshire

Dermot McMahon, 54, from Motherwell who works for North Lanarkshire Council, said: "It has been amazing the amount of fans that are here. The march up to the stadium was fantastic.

"The Scotland fans are amazing. It's just our attitude with everyone that we meet, being respectful and just here for a good time.

"Most of the fans here have been well behaved. The people here have really appreciated that. We were speaking to people this morning who were saying they were really sorry to see us go now we are heading on to Stuttgart.

"We've made a really good impression which is brilliant."

Bill Mcintyre, a retired van driver from Airdrie, was one of the several thousand preparing to board a train to Stuttgart, where we will play Hungary in our final group match on Sunday night.

Bill Macintrye and his pals from Airdrie
Bill Macintrye and his pals from Airdrie

The 66-year-old said: "It was a fantastic day yesterday. The German fans treat us well, but the Scotland fans have been absolutely terrific as usual.

"At the game last night the support we have for the team was fantastic too. The national anthem before the game but the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

"The German's enthusiasm for us says all you need to know. They want us to qualify through the group because they want us to stay in Germany. They have said we are the best fans in the world and we are welcome any time."

Bill's friend Mitchell Gibb, 70, an architect, also from Airdrie, added: "We are the best in the world because - despite how many are here - we are so well behaved.

"Even in the pub the other night, the Swiss fans joined us. We bought them drinks and they bought us drinks. They thanked us for our hospitality, they appreciated it and they started singing our songs.

"The Germans have been so hospitable, we played a couple of games of walking football with them too. They are great people."

One incident during a storm in Cologne on Tuesday captured the hearts of people all over the country.

An elderly person was crossing a square in the downpour, pushing a trolley. Two kilted Scots escorted the old person through the rain, one holding a brolly above their head.

The 1. FC Köln international account shared the scene and commented: “Scotland fans, we knew we would love having you here at the Euros. You are always welcome.”

Back outside Cologne's main station Ailsa Pollock - who is from Edinburgh and works for the Scottish Government - soaked up the atmosphere from the square on Wednesday and said it's our passion that sets us apart.

The 32-year-old added: "The atmosphere has been amazing over here. Scotland has really taken over Germany.

"The game yesterday was amazing too. We are such passionate supporters, that's what makes us the best.

"Collectively we are all here to just have a good time. We all stick together, there's no agro. It's all just good fun.

"We've been in Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne and even when there has been a mix of fans the atmosphere has been really good, there's been a lot of collaboration and everyone has been looking after each other.

"I'm hoping we can get out of the group and stay a bit longer now. We love to dream but whatever happens, we are just here for the party."

Stewart Carlisle and Dad Alan from Scone Perthshire
Stewart Carlisle and Dad Alan from Scone Perthshire

Alan Carlile, a 72-year-old retired IT director from Scone in Perth, said: "We were on the march heading to the ground yesterday which was a wonderful experience.

"We were much better than on Friday and it was a shame really that we didn't get the win but we still have a bit of hope that we can stay here for a bit longer.

"Scotland fans are the best because we are friendly, respectful and we look after each other.

"The fans have been boisterous, but very well behaved. They have been respectful of the country."

Alan's son Stewart, a 43-year-old project manager from Glasgow, added: "Everyone here has really embraced the experience. We are all just here to enjoy it.

"Football is important, but it's also about the culture and how you represent your country.

"It's just been absolutely brilliant. Everyone has been friendly, the police have been brilliant with the fans too. They have understood what we are here to do and that we are just here to enjoy it."

Meanwhile others heading to Stuttgart have insisted "this is our time" as the thousands of Scots wave goodbye to Cologne.

Lindsay Ross with wife Wife Maureen and son Andrew from Perth
Lindsay Ross with wife Wife Maureen and son Andrew from Perth

Lindsay Ross, a 59-year-old retired banker from Perth said: "We had tickets for the game and joined the match which was incredible. There were pipers, singing, locals were hanging out the windows cheering us on - some of the locals even had Scotland flags. It was amazing.

"There's a real feeling that this is our time. I think we can go in with a bit of confidence against Hungary now, get the result and see where that takes us."

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