At Euro 2024, Italian coaches are singing the anthems of the countries they work for

at euro 2024, italian coaches are singing the anthems of the countries they work for

Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona watches from the bench during a Group E match between Belgium and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — There are five Italian coaches at the European Championship and only one gets to sing the national anthem with the Italy team.

Before Slovakia's gripping 1-0 win over Belgium on Monday, their Italian coaches did their best to honor the countries they work for by singing along with their players and fans.

at euro 2024, italian coaches are singing the anthems of the countries they work for

Belgium' head coach Domenico Tedesco follows the action during the Group E match between Belgium and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (Arne Dedert/dpa via AP)

“It’s quite tricky but you can learn anything if you put your mind to it," Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona said later in comments translated from Italian.

“I’m trying to learn it and I like it," Calzona said of the 19th century song "Nad Tatrou sa blýska" (Lightning over the Tatras) he has heard for nearly two years as Slovakia coach.

Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco was born in Italy but grew up in Germany. He's become a German citizen and speaks that language, which is one of Belgium's three official ones.

at euro 2024, italian coaches are singing the anthems of the countries they work for

Team listen to national anthems before the Group E match between Belgium, left, and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

On the giant screens in the home stadium of Eintracht Frankfurt, the words of the Belgian anthem were shown in Dutch, French and German. It is called either “De Brabançonne, La Brabançonne” or “Das Lied von Brabant” in a country where linguistic differences are highly political.

at euro 2024, italian coaches are singing the anthems of the countries they work for

Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona walks along the sideline during a Group E match between Belgium and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

“I’ve heard it many times, and sung in many languages,” Tedesco said of the anthem he has heard for nearly 18 months as the Red Devils coach.

“It’s a huge show of respect towards a country that chose me as head coach.”

At Euro 2024, the rousing Italian anthem widely known as “Fratelli d'Italia” is being sung at games only by national coach Luciano Spalletti, who was Calzona's boss when they were at Napoli.

The other Italian coaches at the tournament are Vincenzo Montella with Turkey and Marco Rossi with Hungary.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

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