England and Germany, another chapter in an eternal rivalry

BARCELONA – England winning their World Cup, in 1966, thanks to a goal that was not. Germany crushing the English 10-0 at Oxford in 1909 in response to a 10-0 in 1899 in Manchester or a 12-0 in 1901 in London. England overwhelming the Germans in Munich 1-5 in 2001. Germany eliminating the English at Wembley in the semi-final of the 1966 Eurocup … England and Germany; Germany and England. The story of an old rivalry returns to the stage this Tuesday with another round of heads or tails and which will be, as always, a time to settle old scores.

It will be, in a special way, for Gareth Southgate, the current coach of the Three Lions and that on June 26, 1996, 25 years ago, he missed the decisive launch of an agonizing penalty shoot-out in which the Mannschaft achieved their pass to the final (which would later beat the Czech Republic) by winning 6-5 after neither Seaman nor Köpke (the two goalkeepers) had been able to stop any of the previous shots.

It will be the opportunity to get even with a coach who has under his command what many consider to be the best team of this last quarter of a century to aspire to lift a trophy that accompanies that 1966 World title, unique in the English record, which was achieved defeating, also at Wembley, the old West Germany 4-2 in an overtime as legendary as it is controversial, as the 3-2 achieved by Geoff Hurst proved to be an invalid goal as his shot failed to cross the goal line after crashing into Hans Tilkowski’s crossbar.

Old stories of duels of all colors and in all tournaments, such as the German triumph in the quarterfinals of the 1970 World Cup, revenge for the final four years earlier and that Germany defeated 3-2 thanks to a goal from the legendary Gerd Müller in extra time, accompanied by a tie in Madrid in the 1982 World Cup (0-0) that was enough for the Germans to qualify for the final that they would end up losing against Italy.

Like the penalties that gave him a pass to the 1990 final, in Turin, with the definitive failures of Pearce and Waddle that keep the tears of Paul Gascoigne in the retina and that led to eternity the sentence of Gary Lineker: ‘Football It is a sport that the English invented, they play eleven against eleven and Germany always wins. ‘

It does not always happen, of course, but it has been something common in the duels between the two teams and that they met for the last time in a head or tail clash in the round of 16 of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa … German side by an undeniable 4-1 of which this Tuesday the English will finally seek a major revenge in their sanctuary at Wembley.

The British team comes to the duel with the feeling of having offered less than expected, trusting in the appearance, already necessary, of Harry Kane and the hope that the football that the team is supposed to appear at the decisive moment. The Germans arrive without knowing the reality of themselves: Capitals in their debut against Portugal and dwarfed to the limit at the end of a group stage in which they asked for the time so as not to be eliminated against Hungary.

No matter who goes to the quarterfinals, the defeated should not, from the outset, keep the bitter taste of the failure that drags the France that was left down on Monday and in case they will have to lick their wounds like the Netherlands or Portugal, understanding that, again they will have missed an opportunity that many understand indisputable to reign.

And, to end that story of bitter and eternal rivalry, the political chapter could not be missing. The friendly played at the majestic Olympiastadion in Berlin on May 14, 1938 and in which the English authorities advised (ordered) the national team players to perform the Nazi salute at the time the chords of the German anthem sounded.

“I was in Switzerland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Norway, Denmark, Sweden or Yugoslavia; I suffered a shipwreck, a train crash and was inches from a plane crash. But the worst moment of my life, and one that I would not repeat of my own free will, was when we made the Nazi salute in Berlin ”, recalled many years later the captain of that English team, Eddie Hapgood.

England, by the way, won 3-6 before 110 thousand German followers, among which were the highest commanders of Nazi Germany … Although not Adolf Hitler, perhaps fearful of what could happen on the lawn or, perhaps, busier in continuing with his plans that would lead to World War II 15 months later.