The German tabloids have been left with egg on their face after several of them ran arrogant headlines mocking the England football team ahead of today’s demon-banishing Euro 2020 clash at Wembley, which the Three Lions won, 2-0.
Second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane put England through to the quarter-finals, sending the Germans home.
Midfielder Declan Rice summed up the spirit of legions of England fans who have had to wait literally decades to punish the Deutsche Nationalmannschaft at an international tournament.
“Everyone went out there with fire in their belly to [one] Knock Germany out of the tournament, [two] For us, to progress to the next round. We created our own history,” the West Ham United hero told the BBC after the final whistle blew.
Needless to say, the German press had a different outcome in mind after sending England out of major tournaments in 1970, 1990, 1996 – at Wembley – and 2010.
The German Daily Express ran the headline “Everything ready for the Euro-Brexit”.
The headline featured above a cut out Three Lions crest with Germany manager, Joachim Löw’s head printed in place of the three beasts’ heads. The heavily coiffed coach is now out of a job having vowed to leave his post after 15 years at the helm.
Munich daily, Abendzeitung was even less subtle. “Time to say Goodbye”, the headline simply read.
“For one of the major soccer nations, the European Championship round of 16 is already over. The balance sheet looks good for the German team,” the paper stressed.
“The Three Lions know that too.” Clearly, they didn’t.
The author of the piece was kind enough to point out “the English have only experienced losses in knock-out duels with the ‘Krauts’,” before listing Germany triumphs during half a century of hurt. England’s last meaningful win – they secured a scrappy 1-0 victory at the group stage of the 2000 Euros, both teams failed to make the last sixteen – was when they lifted the World Cup in 1966 at Wembley.
It is worth noting that before then, England had a 100% record against Germany stretching back to 1935, a sign of the future perhaps.
Broadsheet, Die Welt went for “Mind the gap” as its headline because the match was being played in London. And they say the Germans don’t have a sense of humour.
But it wasn’t just the papers having a dig at England. German internationals past and present made arrogant comments in the run-up to the historic match.
“The English don’t really like playing against Germany,” said former Chelsea star, Michael Ballack. “Such statistics can ultimately play a decisive role in the subconscious.”
Thomas Müller, who had a golden opportunity to level the match this afternoon after Sterling’s opener in the 75th minute, said: “Of course we want to poke this English tournament wound again and again. We want to unsettle them.
“We have to be prepared for the fact that it will also be a mental test. I think the English are trying a bit to convince themselves,” the unorthodox forward added.
“They are a bit more confident in terms of results than we were in the round of 16, but in terms of tournament performance they can’t compete with the Italians, who currently excel.”
England’s next match will be against either Sweden, who they beat at the last World Cup, or Ukraine. The two sides play tonight.