England vs Germany
Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win. The words of Gary Linekar, the famous striker of the English team that lost to Germany in the 1990 World Cup semis.
As arch-rivals England and Germany gear up for the 2nd round match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup match later today, I am also getting a little more excited than usual. In school, I used to be an avid follower of football, reading and watching about the games as much as I could. I remember Oliver Bierhoff’s golden goal in Euro ’96 final and the famous match Germany and England played in the semis. Lately, I have watched only a few matches. Though the English have good players and play well, for some unknown reason, I have never liked their team- and always wanted them to lose. As I root for Germany today, here are some interesting pieces of information I collected for the pre-match consumption.
Games against Germany represent some of the lowest points in England’s 44 years of hurt. Of course England wants to win the World Cup but if we can’t, we at least want to be beat the German: a life-long England supporter in the Deutsche Welle.
The New York Times: “Three World Cups!” the Germans like to cry, gently mocking England’s sole success in the competition, a 4-2 victory over West Germany in extra time in 1966 at London’s Wembley Stadium, and comparing it with Germany’s success in 1954, 1974 and 1990 (all as West Germany, before German reunification). “Two world wars!” has been the English supporters’ response.
The British tabloid has been quick to draw comparisons between the game and the war. The Daily Star writes, GERMANY is set to kick up a Reich stink at the World Cup by playing in Nazi-style black shirts. The German tabloid Bild calls The ‘Daily Star’ headline is just sick. The SS and Fascist groups in Italy and England were known as ‘Black Shirts’. It says, it was the height of poor taste, coming the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The Independent gets humbler than the tabloids and makes a list of good things about the rivals including the invention of 23-year-old German university student, Paul Nipkow, who thought up the first electromechanical television system in 1884, without which, we would be listening to today’s match on the wireless. Read more in What has Germany ever done for us?
The BBC reports that a psychic octopus said to have correctly predicted many of Germany’s previous match has predicted a German win in today’s match.
Since ’66 the Germans have always finished at least one stage ahead of England in the World Cup and there was a time, until that amazing 5-1 win in Munich in 2001, when they regularly got the better of us. But you don’t have to be burdened by history; the point is to try to make it… I see it’s the youngest side the Germans have brought to the finals since 1934. (The Independent)
Germans thrive when under pressure. (The Independent)
Germans: Eleven years ago, half our rival’s squad would not qualify as citizens under rules introduced by Kaiser (nice pictures): The Daily Mail
The Daily Mail also writes about how economy will boost if England wins and how people in both countries have stocked beer for the occasion.
In an interesting article, The Daily Mail writes, why do we love to hate them? It can’t just be that deep down we know they’re better than us at football, and particularly at taking penalties? Can it? The piece is aptly titled: Why we still love bashing the Boche: as we face Germany in the World Cup tomorrow, we salute the silly side of our old enemy.
The German and British Prime Ministers to watch the big game together during the G8 summit: The Local
The Guardian writes about “Das Englische Elfmetertrauma“, the famous penalty-shootout duels between Germany and England.
The Welt has another interesting photo gallery titled Again and Again against England, with classic pictures from previous matches between the countries.
The Spiegel has a nice photo gallery too.
The Psychological War
According to The Daily Mail, the English FA wanted to book the five-star Hotel Velmore Grande for the Sunday’s game, but Germans were quicker. The Bild said They wanted to pitch up in the Hotel Velmore Grande for the quarter finals but the DfB [German FA] was quicker – and now we are getting ready in the luxury five-star accommodation for victory on Sunday.
Psychological War? Sure. Read ahead.
The man fielded for the pre-match press conference by the German team was Andreas Köpke, the German goalie who saved England’s penalty in the ’96 Euro Cup victory.
The German team recently visited the Lions’ Park in South Africa. The English team are called “The three lions” by the press, in reference to the English Coat of arms. The Welt has a photo gallery of the visit to the Lions’ Park. The Daily mail story also writes in length about it.
More World Cup
The Bild: What kind of people don’t watch the world cup ? (with a gallery).
The Telegraph: WAGS arrive in South Africa to back England. (I am of the opinion that England would make a better pop-band than a football team )