World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Germany to win? I don't think so

paul_fletcher.gif DORTMUND - I'm not going to make many friends saying this but I do NOT want Germany to win the World Cup.

I've spoken to quite a few England fans over the last few days who have expressed the view that they would be happy to see Michael Ballack lift the World Cup trophy in Berlin on Sunday - and a few people on this blog have expressed a similar sentiment, not to mention my fellow bloggers Paul Armstrong and Paul Atherton.

Mandeep seems to be backing the Italians, Phil is just fuming it's not England getting in the party mood in Munich, while Celina seems to have been seduced by ex-France defender Desailly and his confidence in some of his old team-mates.

As for the Germans, the thrust of the argument seems to be that they've been so incredibly fantastic as a host nation that it would be no bad thing to see their team win on home soil.

GermanfanDortmunddayfour270.jpg I fully concur with the first part of the theory - Ricco and I have been around the country and have hardly a bad word to say about any of the Germans we have met.

In fact, their kindness, willingness to help and warmth for the English has really struck home - for me it is one of the major factors that I will take from my time here.

They seem to be without any of the malice that some English people still harbour towards them (though I think they quite enjoyed watching us lose on penalties) and I really believe that as a people they are not all that different to us.

In short, I have come to see the Germans in a new, refreshing and entirely positive light.

Does this mean I now want their football team to win? No chance.

On the train back from Gelsenkirchen on Saturday evening my eyes drifted aimlessly across the carriage.

I spotted an England shirt with one gold star above the badge. Seconds later I noticed a German shirt with three gold stars about the badge.

The thought occured to me that if they win this World Cup they are three victories ahead of us. Given we have only managed it once ever, it would make any footballing debate with a German even more futile than it is already.

And besides, if every time I went to a country of a major footballing rival I decided that because I liked the people I would back their team in the event of England's inevitable premature departure I could soon end up without any rivalries to get worked up about.

Football is about the excitement of playing a rival team, the spice that such a match adds and the increased desire for your team to emerge victorious.

Take that away and I think the game will be poorer for it. So I'm not crossing the German team off the list just yet.

Besides, I still vividly remember the empty, hollow feeling in 1990 and 1996. Andi Moeller strutting and preening across the turf at Wembley. It is what made England's 5-1 win in 2001 all the sweeter.

What I can take solace from in the 1990 and 1996 defeats is that we lost (albeit on penalties) to a quality team, packed with world-class players.

Each time Germany went on to win the tournament - we lost to a team that was arguably better than us.

Four years ago an average team reached the final and the current crop is hardly packed with top-quality world-class players.

It almost makes it worse that now, while England have failed with what is supposedly their best team in decades, the Germans are showing us how to win when, on paper, they're hardly brimming with talent.

Don't think for a moment think that I am trying to suggest that Jurgen Klinsmann's team has not played well here. They have, very well, but let us take Miroslav Klose as an example.

Klose was one of the top scorers at the last World Cup - with six goals - but then had two poor seasons with Kaiserslautern.

I'm told he has been impressive since moving to Werder Bremen two years ago and is clearly a very competent forward.

With five goals already at this World Cup he is very likely to be the top scorer at this tournament. A major, major honour for a player.

But top German strikers down the years - the likes of Klinsmann, Rudi Voeller, Oliver Bierhoff - quickly ended up in Italy. Why no such interest in Klose?

What I will concede about the current German team is that compared to previous generations they seem extremely likeable.

Klinsmann has been a popular figure in England for a long time and has kept me amused throughout the tournament by his selection of expertly tailored yet somehow slightly casual shirts.

With Oliver Kahn on the bench there is no longer anyone in the team that I truly despise and they play with a freedom and belief that has been genuinely exciting to watch.

And maybe if they win their semi-final and I find myself caught up in the emotion of it all I might start to waver.

But for the moment this (probably slightly bitter) English fan is sticking to his guns and hoping that someone, anyone, knocks them out (preferably on penalties).

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:54 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • david bates wrote:

OK, so Wayne Rooney should have kept a bit calmer, but from where I was sitting, he did not commit a violent act. He was being pulled and fouled for what seemed an age. The Portuguese player unfortunately was hoisted by his own petard. In his attempt to pull Rooney back he fell and slipped legs akimbo under Rooney, who was knocked off balance and was ONLY trying to put is foot down. He could not have known (unless he had eyes in his backside) that the players groin was awaiting his foot. It was hardly a "stamoing" action, it was just a natural reaction to regain his balance. No-one knows what would have happened had he stayed on , maybe the result would have been the same, but I doubt it....The referee made some very strange decisions. How could Terry deserve to be booked for getting knocked out in an accidental clash of heads? Wht was Crouch bookedd, he did nothing wrong.

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  • 2.
  • At 12:57 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Pete wrote:

To Thomas - Thanks that little one liner! I couldnt decide who to back tonight between Germany and Italy and you have made my mind up for me... FORZA ITALIA!

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  • 3.
  • At 01:00 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

To Thomas

Yeah right.
Brazil thought that they already had a 6th star, what makes you so sure to have your 4th?

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  • 4.
  • At 01:00 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • madhu wrote:

How come France, Italy and Ukraine are grouped together in the Euro 2008 qualifying.
Were there no seedings? Imagine only 2 of these 3 talented teams will be at Euro 2008.

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  • 5.
  • At 01:04 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Ramses wrote:

As a dutchman who supports both Holland and England, this World Cup has been horrific. Of course I want my team(s) to win, but if beaten by a clearly better opponent, so be it. But the likes of Portugal (for me it happened twice in a row this World Cup) have left me phased. And to be honest, I am not really interested in who wins it anymore. Sure I might watch the game if I come across it, but I fear it will be too painful.

Sigh, another 4 years wait...

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  • 6.
  • At 01:06 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Flo wrote:

Do not only look at the stars - if we win today it's going to be our 8th (!) final since 1954!

1954, 1966, 1974, 1982, 1986, 1990, 2002 and maybe 2006. This is just incredible and does not leave much room for discussion about who (England or Germany) is better at the WCs... ;)

So, because that issue is IMHO settled, you can feel free, to cheer for our team. ;)

Anyway, I think that most so-called "world-class"-players, who play in the Premier League, in Italy or Spain are overrated. I haven't seen much of Ronaldinho, Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Adriano, Ibrahimovic, Robben, van Bommel, Raul etc. etc - just to mention a few.

What I have seen is much of Ronaldo, but just because he's overweight... ;)

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  • 7.
  • At 01:14 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Andrew wrote:

madhu, actually only one of France, Italy and Ukraine (probably Italy) will make it to Euro 2008... the other is of course Scotland!
I'm serious, I see a bright future for Scotland and expect to see the gap between our ranking and England's close swiftly over the next few years.

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  • 8.
  • At 01:14 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Ramses wrote:

@Flo:

Regarding world class players there is a clearer more obvious reason for their underperformance: most have had long seasons playing in the national and international competitions and German players havent.

The German league is smaller gameswise in comparison to the English or Spanish League (34 games vs 42/38, not counting cup tourny's).

Not many German teams progressed far in the international tournaments, nor do many German players play for foreign internationally active teams.

Finally, the Germans havent had to play qualifying matches.

Always keep this in mind before complaining about top class players not performing. And that is not even mentioning the horrible ball which has been used this worldcup, or the dry fields on which have been played on (which is the German(!) groundsmen responsibillity...)

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  • 9.
  • At 01:18 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Giddy wrote:

Glad you refer to the myth that this England squad was the best we had since 66, a myth founded and perpetuated by those who think football only really began with the Premiership in 1992. The fact is that this squad was possibly the worst we had since 66, not the best.

As for the winners? Anyone except Portugal for me! As someone who was certain that France would beat Brazil (another over hyped and over rated outfit) I wouldn't mind seeing them win.

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  • 10.
  • At 01:18 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • idd mandi wrote:

I also pray that German be ousted but on different reasons.I never fancy a host nation to win the world cup.Being a Tanzanian, with some historical connections with Britain, I Wanted England to win it.England is undoutedly a great,but incomplete team. It has no great strikers.To win the world cup you need luck and great team with prolific goal scorers. Rooney is too young to depend on,and crouch is too slow to outsmart great defenders.Don't blame the coach, urge mothers to bring great strikers, and of course good other Shiltons!

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  • 11.
  • At 01:19 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Superjim wrote:

Thomas, your points in order:
1. good advice, but its not practice its positivism thats required.
2. Fair play, you deserve it, but you need to get past Italy, and France first.
3. see later ;o)
4. you are forgetting that there was a 4th goal. we beat you fair and square. but you are probably right about England never winning another, given the hopelessness of the English FA: just take the Wembley farce as an example.

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  • 12.
  • At 01:21 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Warren wrote:

Hi Thomas and Flo, liked your thoughts there. People can go on and on about 1966 but that is actually just a showing of how pathetic the England squad really is.

All of those stars with all the fame and supposed skill can't gel together like the Germans.

I would be delighted if Germany wins the world cup a 4th time around, we need a european nation to keep the cup here and who better to do so than the best team in Europe ever.

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  • 13.
  • At 01:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Flo wrote:

@ Ramses

I agree with you about the number of games, but everybody is playing with the same ball and on the same pitch - that can't be an explanation for the underperformance of some of the players.

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  • 14.
  • At 01:25 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Ian wrote:

I don't understand. Why are people still talking about this "world cup" when everyone knows it finished last Saturday? Roll on the Men's Singles final this Sunday...

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  • 15.
  • At 01:26 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Andy Hill wrote:

"probably slightly bitter"... slightly bitter?

Keep sucking the lemons Fletch. I don't care if the Germans or the French win. I just don't want either of the other two teams to win or even to get to the final (which would obviously mean one of them winning) as I think it would be a bit of a snooze-fest (not quite on the level of Switzerland vs Ukraine but getting there) while the other two have genuine rivalry and real, top quality currently playing at their best (or something approaching it).

I don't like Oliver Kahn either, but could you imagine how intensely even more irritating Ricardo would be if he were a World Cup winner?

Grrrr, the mere thought of it makes me mad!

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  • 16.
  • At 01:29 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

@ Flo,

so you already played 7 finals, and you won 3. statistically, then, if you make it tonight (which I hope won't happen) you have more than 50% probability to lose again. Isn't it?

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  • 17.
  • At 01:29 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Andrew mate the Scots chances of doing well in Euro 08 are as likely as my country Wales winning it. Soz mate but its true, neither of our countries has the talent available to compete with these teams, just look at whose in the semi's in this tournament. Its gonna be a few years yet before our youth mature and become world Euro and world challengers. But ive gotta say i'd put my morgage on either of us giving England a thrashing

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  • 18.
  • At 01:31 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

re madhu's post, two teams go through automatically out of the Euro 2008 groups (no playoffs). So the only way two of the top three teams won't go through is if somebody else in the group(Scotland, Lithuania, Georgia or the Faroes, ;-)) finishes in the top two. But it is an absurdly strong group. Even Scotland have shown signs of life over the last year.

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  • 19.
  • At 01:31 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Susie wrote:

My 5-year old can give you a few of his gold stars for your shirt if that would make you happy.
Come on, that's about as childish as "it's our turn to win"!
Good on the Germans for turning in enjoyable and inspiring performances so far after being written-off before they'd even started.
May the best team win tonight- personally I'll be wearing my "let's go, Krauts" T-shirt (yet another example of German humour- bought in Germany!)

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  • 20.
  • At 01:31 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Markus wrote:

Finally, a blog that sums up my point of view. I am a German, a regular visitor to England who has come to love the country and the people, but still it is always a pleasure to see England lose on penalties (preferably against us...). On the other hand, I would find it a bit frustrating if the English decided to support Germany openly and I tend to think that you would not take us as seriously anymore in the future when it comes to football. Remember: we are the penalty machine, the Krauts who always play unattractive football and win it! ;-).

Don't get me wrong, I like English football, I like the English people but I also like the banter that belongs to football. It would be a great progress if people came to like a country and respect its people and use football to live the remaining rivalry. Ohne Holland fahr'n wir nach Berlin...;-)

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  • 21.
  • At 01:31 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Mizako Togo wrote:

How pathetic.......


Your energies will be better spent devising ways to improve the England team sufficiently to get past the last eight in the next tournament never mind winning it.
That will take a whole lot more than exertions to achieve. Good luck though

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  • 22.
  • At 01:34 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Daniel wrote:

Nice arcticle. I am German, but the reasons why you don't want Germany to win are funny and not hostile at all. So all the best from Bavaria.

PS: there were many Germans (like me and my sister) who wanted England to win in the penalty shoot-out against Portugal.

Of course I will cross my fingers for a good German perfomance tonight...

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  • 23.
  • At 01:36 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Markus Richter wrote:

Thomas wrote:
"Go, practice some penalties. The 4th star is ours. England will never ever be Worldcup winner again (unless they cheat again on home soil)."

I can't belive there are still some idiots in my country and write like this!!!
Thomas I guess you are a teenager totally uneducated in football, just want to blabber with adults.

I don't think the english team (which I always like to see to win, besides our team) was too bad. They played very well for 120 minutes against Portugal. They also know how to play penalties very well, but with the british press (Sun, etc.) in the neck they are under pressure.

I'm absolutely sure, with a new Team-Manager we will see England in another final and maybe getting another star. Come on England!

Markus (Germany)

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  • 24.
  • At 01:38 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

Thomas, you are right that Hurst's 2nd goal shouldn't have counted. The game should have finished 2-1 to England after 90 minutes as your equaliser was a blatant handball!

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  • 25.
  • At 01:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Paul Bodenham wrote:


If tonight's game had been against any other team, I would have said that the Germans would have won.
But it's against the only team never to have lost a competitive game against Germany: Italy.
The gulf in class between the two sides is evident. The Germans' only hope is of playing for penalties.

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  • 26.
  • At 01:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

To Markus

exactly: no polical correctness in football banter!
So you changed your way of playing? are you gonna attack tonight?
GOOODDDDD
So we have a chance to score one goal, close the catenaccio and let the match expire!!!!!
Honestly, I can't care less how Italy plays, I care only if it wins (and so does anybody else). I'd rather be commenting the match saying that Italy should play better next match instead of saying tha it was a good but last game....

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  • 27.
  • At 01:44 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • ralph wrote:

Thomas, stop being silly.

England did not cheat. Who are you to claim they did when even Uwe Seeler (that's right, Uns Uwe, Germany's captain in 66) states that England deserved to win the cup?

Paul, you are right, old rivalries spice up the competition. Just don't take them to seriously.

And btw., I don't think your assumption that most Germans liked to see England get kicked out on penalties is right. Contrary to what you seem to believe there are many people here supporting England.

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  • 28.
  • At 01:50 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

AS an Englishman working in Germany I am torn...
I have watched Germany play this world cup like I would have wanted England to play it, all heart all guts all attack.
In contrast Sven's master plan was to be Germany ( of old) and bore our way to the final... but for the fact that we seem unable to score Penalties he might have achieved his goal...

Anyway I like the way the germans are playing, but most Germans I know are already so cocky about German Football that I don't think I could stand listenening to them harp on about winning this World Cup for the next 8 Years ( lets not kidd ourselves, no european Team is likely to win the WC in South Africa... the climate suggests that on its own. )
I would hate for Portugal to win... I did not think they deserved their win over England at all.
I don't want the French to have a star more than us on their chests...
All that leaves is Italy..

So call me cheap ( and I probably am )... but I'll also say
FORZA ITALIA!!!
( please don't tell my wife, she's German ;)

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  • 29.
  • At 01:51 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Marius wrote:

Oh Ramses,

how typical! Complaining about the ball and the grass to distract from bad form or performances of other players. ;-)

I used the ball myself and I must say it is by far the best ball ever! To me the ball used in 1986 was number one up to now. Concerning the grass. Well, the FIFA decided that in all stadiums the grass has to be replaced by FIFA defined special mixture, coming from Holland btw. And it was also FIFA directive not to water the pitch five hours before the match.

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  • 30.
  • At 01:53 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Markus wrote:

@Francesco, you got it. I expect you to play Catenaccio anyway, so, to prevent this, I would be glad if we win 1:0 by an unjustified penalty early on (the foul preferably committed by Gattuso), using our home advantage and then seeing you waste chance after chance... ;-). Oh, you might also score a regular goal that is called off because of offside. Reading the Italian press on the next day would be great fun ;-).

(Just to make sure: I'm kidding. This is just football banter...)

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  • 31.
  • At 01:54 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • georgm wrote:

@Thomas: That's just sooo dumb!

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  • 32.
  • At 01:56 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Lewis wrote:

Superjim, in response to your 4th point about their being a 4th goal in the '66 Final - I'd just like to say that there were fans on the pitch so the game should have been stopped or the goal disallowed!

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  • 33.
  • At 01:57 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Star wrote:

England have only made two semi finals and one final in World Cup history. Comparatively speaking, they are considerably worse than most teams especially Germany.

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  • 34.
  • At 01:58 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Hall wrote:

I was until the comment from Thomas willing to support Germany in the World Cup, but his very sad choice of words has just made me realize why nobody likes the Germans...

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  • 35.
  • At 02:00 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

The 4th goal in 1966 should not have been allowed either, given that the referee should have stopped play when there were pitch invaders ("some people on the pitch"). I also doubt whether the German team would have left so few players in defence if the game had still been level.

;-)

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  • 36.
  • At 02:01 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • andy wilkinson wrote:

Hey Andrew,

With your tin pot league you will never come close to the English ; in fact the gap is only likely to widen.
That said i would enjoy seeing Scotland reach Euro 2008 so that we can defeat you once again and shatter your dreams. :o)

Hey Thomas, good luck in the Semi's and hope you go on to win in the final. The French must be prevented from winning at all costs ! :o)

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  • 37.
  • At 02:04 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Giacomo Ferrara wrote:

England had there best team since 1966 and they blew it, i was 100% sure that they wouldnt win the world cup. England are so big headed and they always blow it hahahaha. Italy have a really good chance tonight and i really hope they win and shut everyone up sayin they are not good enough, but if we are not good enough than how come we went further than the 'mighty england' hahaha england are just ****. Forza ITALIA!!!!

Italy v Portugal-final 2006

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  • 38.
  • At 02:04 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

Warren (number 13), have you not realised that a European team is now guaranteed to hold the WC? All 4 Semi Finalists are European teams, which is great to see - so much for the South American flair!

But I agree, no more jealousy or spite, I'm now rooting for Germany. Why? Because, as mentioned above, as long as Kahn stays out of the team there are no more arrogant players in the German side anymore... having said that, as much as I like Klinsmann, I'll never forget the dig they had at us after winning Euro 96 and singing "Football's Coming Home" with the trophy in the streets of Germany...

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  • 39.
  • At 02:06 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Giacomo Ferrara wrote:

England had there best team since 1966 and they blew it, i was 100% sure that they wouldnt win the world cup. England are so big headed and they always blow it. Italy have a really good chance tonight and i really hope they win and prove to evryone, that they are good enough, but if we are not good enough than how come we went further than the 'mighty england' BYE BYE ENGLAND :) Forza ITALIA!!!!

Italy v Portugal-final 2006

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  • 40.
  • At 02:07 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Giacomo Ferrara wrote:

England had there best team since 1966 and they blew it, i was 100% sure that they wouldnt win the world cup. England are so big headed and they always blow it.

Italy have a really good chance tonight and i think they can do it!! byebye england, better luck next time ;)

Forza Italia!!!

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  • 41.
  • At 02:07 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Simon Cunningham wrote:

It’s simple really guys, the media whipped the (English) nation into a blinkered view that they only had to turn up to win. Well done the supporters you did a fantastic job and I do feel sorry for you. But please be positive - lets hope we get another 3 great games, we all deserve it. As will however wins next Sunday.
Oh, and I do know what I’m talking about - as a Scot I went through Argentina 78 - I think this is yours! From the media hype to the plannned victory parade.
As for Euro 08, Scotland need to get back into the world top 32 - we won’t make it, but a few good results might help us out. 5-1 against Bulgaria isn’t a bad start!

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  • 42.
  • At 02:08 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Giacomo Ferrara wrote:

England had there best team since 1966 and they blew it, i was 100% sure that they wouldnt win the world cup. England are so big headed and they always blow it.

Italy have a really good chance tonight and i think they can do it!! byebye england, better luck next time ;)

Forza Italia!!!

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  • 43.
  • At 02:08 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Giacomo Ferrara wrote:

England had there best team since 1966 and they blew it, i was 100% sure that they wouldnt win the world cup. England are so big headed and they always blow it.

Italy have a really good chance tonight and i think they can do it!! byebye england, better luck next time ;)

Forza Italia!!!

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  • 44.
  • At 02:09 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Rizwan Ahmed wrote:

From the deapth of my heart one sound is raising up "ZIDANE, ZIDANE", since the begginnings of this event. Though I'm supporting England from the early first breath of my life.
I'm pretty sure Zidane will lift the this golden handycraft. My all best wishes with French.

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  • 45.
  • At 02:10 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

re Andy Wilkinson, England have been put out of the last two tournaments by a country with a population not much greater than Scotland and with a similar standard of league to the SPL.

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  • 46.
  • At 02:12 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • MRP_Germany wrote:

I don't think Thomas and Flo are right.

Flo, it is definately unimportant how many times you are in a final, just the win of the cup counts.

The cup in 1966 is history.

How many "stars" on a shirt is unimportant too.

Thomas your thoughts about the English team is not nice and very subjective. I support the English Team and the English League plays a very entertaining football. That's why Jens Lehmann plays there and soon Michael Ballack too.

And...we will be out today, 3:1 for the Italians.


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  • 47.
  • At 02:15 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Marius wrote:

I forgot the Wembley match....

by chance I saw a nice documentary yesterday about that match with interviews from Hurst, Seeler, Höttges, Tillkowski (goalie) the sons of the referee and the linesman and some English football historians.

Some English scientists examined the goal on and on and on and came to the conclusion the ball was NOT in, however some other german scientists say is was in for some miliseconds or something.

The son of the ref said that his father just never knew if it was in or not. The linesman's son said his fahter was sure it was in. So the conclusion is you are unable to decide goal or not. I prefer to obey to the refs judgement even it cameras reveal later it is the greatest bull****! And so the german players that time said, O.K. if the ref says it is a goal it is a goal, that deserves some respect. I don't like to know what Italian or Argentinians would have done.

About the forth goal: it was even more irregular! You are surprised? Well, when Hurst approached the german goal on the left side, you can clearly see people from the audience on the pitch before he gave the shot! Which the ref should have seen! Anyway it does not matter anymore, the games is over.

Apart from that, I have never seen the match as a whole, but from the footage I have seen - about 40 mins in total, I have to say England deserved to win, which is btw the opinion of most german players on the pitch, although they said the last THE goal was not in! The last goal was in the last minute anyway, so forget about that.

R.I.P. Wembley. Oh, when is the new stadium ready???

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  • 48.
  • At 02:16 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Krish wrote:

Well I have been an england supporter for a very long time. But at the end of every world cup, there is always a big "if" associated with the England team. What if Owen hadn't been sent off, what if Gerrard and Beckham hadn't been injured, what if Rooney hadn't been sent off ????? I am quite sick and tired of all this actually and feel that the 1994 World Cup had been my favourite world cup to date.

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  • 49.
  • At 02:17 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Shaun wrote:

After reading the write up of Australia's world cup exit, all I can say is ....

Look who's crying now.

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  • 50.
  • At 02:17 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

@francesco - guess what makes them think they have thier 4th is the same thing that made england think they ahd their 2nd?

In terms of the sentiment of this blog, well, maybe the parallels are there with the sentiment shown by some in the other "Home Nations" that was lambasted by some in the media? Are we not happy that, as members of the EU it is a European winner guarunteed?

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  • 51.
  • At 02:18 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Wilsonia wrote:

A German accusing the English of cheating! That's a bit rich. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. This current German side is full of cheaters, divers, wind-up merchants, time-wasters and injury feigners. When Germany were 2-0 up against a very poor Swedish team with 10 men, did we see a quality side close the game out by playing football? No, we saw all of the ugly and disgraceful aspects of the German side described above. Regarding the 1966 world cup final, any bitter Germans complaining about Geoff Hurst's second goal need to take a close look at Germaay's second goal that Weber scored, and you will soon realise why England deserved to win that game. I love Germany and its people but please get your own house in order before you make these quite ridiculous comments.

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  • 52.
  • At 02:18 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Matt C wrote:

Now that reality has hit all of England its time to move on. England are out, but the World Cup has not ended. Tonight we have my favourites Italy going against the mighty hosts Germany. Like most others i did not expect Germany to do well but they have shown their strength and i applaud them, just like i applaud France for shutting up their critics. I dont however applaud Portugals progress. They did convinsingly beat England on penalties but the match was a total let down from both sides, even with the extra man Portugal could not capitalise, instead they took their striker off and put Ronaldo up front! Still i cant wait for France to hammer 4 past em and play Italy in the final

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  • 53.
  • At 02:19 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Saty wrote:

Its a bit rich of Thomas to accuse England of cheating in 1966 when Roger Hunt truly believed that the whole of the ball had gone over the line (which balanced out the incorrectly given free kick that lead to Germanys equaliser in the final minute) compared to Klinsmans blatant dive in 1990 which demeaned the "victory". Plus if Holland had played with a fraction more team spirit in 1970 (you know the tournament when Germany colluded with Austria to ensure they both qualified from the group stage) then that would have been another star less on the German shirt.

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  • 54.
  • At 02:21 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • nige wrote:

I don’t think there can be any serious debate about who is better (Germany or England) at World Cups, the results clearly speak for themselves.

I think for the English a desire to see Germany fail can be born out of a sense of frustration. I say this, since Germany seems to have an abundance of the qualities that England clearly lacks: strength of character, a sense of purpose, confidence, bravery etc. At this World Cup, Germany has played positive entertaining football, whereas England has stumbled precariously from match to match before finally, and inevitably, falling flat on its face. The situation is made all the more galling by the fact that England, at least at an individual level, has a better team, and I don’t think there can be any serious debate about that either.

Should Germany go all the way and win, I hope they are modest and magnanimous in victory and don’t undo the excellent public relations exercise that this World Cup has so far been for them.

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  • 55.
  • At 02:21 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • AndreasR wrote:

Dear Paul,

yu ar so rigt. We Germans do zertainly prefer honest foes to false friends, too. At any time.

But apart from that, I hope you had a good time over here and also that you still have got left some nice stereotypes about us after your stay to keep you going!

Just in case: Should you change your mind during tonight, please feel free to shout for Germany, as we will need a lot of support tonight.


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  • 56.
  • At 02:22 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • owen wrote:

"Than the best team in Europe ever"? Warren, you are having a laugh, I hope. If not, check out the address of your nearest mental institution.

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  • 57.
  • At 02:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Steven wrote:

England remind me of Man City. They keep harping back to something the won in the 1960s and when they fail to ever do it again it's Man Utd's fault!

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  • 58.
  • At 02:25 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Torsten wrote:

Its the German miracle again...were the Mannschaft and were evolving during a tournament...and we never loose in penalties :)

Im very happy to see "Euro 2006", the South Americans eliminated by the german team and our best friends, the French. To win the english hearts (if our warm welcome wasnt enough..I thought you like to party?), maybe I should be looking forward to a final "Germany-Portugal", but I would love to see a brother-duel.

So come on! One of our most famous songs (which is played at my inn everytime were scoring) is "footballs coming home"! Ok, we focus more on "footballs coming home" than on "three lions on a shirt", but were singing it nonetheless. Ok, we won this song in 1996, but its still an english song! Come to our side and sing with us when were going to play against Portugal (revenge!) or France (äh..ok, its France, you dont need any more reasons ;)...should be fun! I would like to meet you!

See you in 2008!

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  • 59.
  • At 02:28 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

I have to be honest, England are sore losers. Who doesn't think England deserve to go further in the World Cup? Most of us watch the EPL, we know the players, we know the clubs they play for but the team didn't play as a team. One of the obvious problem was Sven; the most disappointing aspect was that the England team is full of known players: Lampard, Gerrad, Rooney, Terry all playing big teams everyone knows. This reflects Brazil and having a big team doesn't necessarily mean you will be successful. France beeat Brazil again, England can't beat Sweden their omen. On paper, the German side are weaker based on the inidividual players but when you play with passion and as a team, who cares if you don't have a Kaka or not. I have supported Germany for 6 years now and like anyone else who supports a team, you support them rain, hail or shine.

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  • 60.
  • At 02:29 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Jan wrote:

Am not one of the skeptics but let me tell you sth you’ll be very fascinated to read.

What World Cup and history have proved:

* The WC has since 1960 alternated between Europe and South America all the time and it proved right. A European team will win it this time.

* Spain still cannot beat France; I told my friends repeatedly Spain is a good side but can’t muster any chance of winning

* England still cannot beat Sweden. A few seconds left, it had to end all square and it did.

* France made it 3 consecutive wins over Brazil. 1986 QF, 1998 F and 2006 QF and France has never lost a World Cup QF. Proved right!

* Once again for the 3rd running WC, a Manchester United Player is responsible for England going out: Beckham in 1998, Paul Scholes giving away a free kick in 2002...Ronaldinho wonder goal and this time, Shrek has done with a well deserved red card. BTW, did I not mention Philip Neville giving away a last gasp penalty in Euro2000 vs Romania?

*Germany have never beaten Italy in the World Cup or in any competitive game. WC Record for Germany vs Italy : 2 draws, 2 defeats last time in the 1982 Final when Italy won 3-1.

Here’s a very interesting fact…sure many skeptics have found it out:

1970: Italy lose 4-1 to brazil in WC Final. (L)

12 yrs later… 1982 and Italy win 3-1 over Germany (W)

12 yrs later…. 1994 and Italy lose to Brazil in the final (L)

12 yrs later… u well calculated it, it’s 2006 and Italy logically should reach the final and WIN!!!

* Germany has by the way a miserable record against both Italy and France. Why should they win it? The facts are here.

Interesting…


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  • 61.
  • At 02:29 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

I have to be honest, England are sore losers. Who doesn't think England deserve to go further in the World Cup? Most of us watch the EPL, we know the players, we know the clubs they play for but the team didn't play as a team. One of the obvious problem was Sven; the most disappointing aspect was that the England team is full of known players: Lampard, Gerrad, Rooney, Terry all playing big teams everyone knows. This reflects Brazil and having a big team doesn't necessarily mean you will be successful. France beeat Brazil again, England can't beat Sweden their omen. On paper, the German side are weaker based on the inidividual players but when you play with passion and as a team, who cares if you don't have a Kaka or not. I have supported Germany for 6 years now and like anyone else who supports a team, you support them rain, hail or shine.

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  • 62.
  • At 02:29 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Tate wrote:

Thomas is being a trifle snide. Of course, England's World Cup record is nowhere near as good as Germany's. That is obvious. But cheating in 1966! How does he work that one oot? i didnt see any English player diving or trying to get an opponent sent off. Like Germany did to try to get the ref to send off Sweden's Lucic. One german player even patted the ref on the back after the red card had been issued, which was dosgraceful behaviour.

Thomas should be thanking the English, well one Englshman anyway. I well remember the pathetic decsison of Englsh referee Jack Taylor to give Germany a penalty in the 1974 final when Holzenbein dived. That decision deprived a brilliant, superior Dutch team of the WC triumph their football had deserved, and I have not seen Thomas going on about Hozelbein's cheating.

I have a high regard for Klinsmann and the sort of football his team are playing. I really don't mind at all if they win the WC. But they do not have superior players to England and other countries. Far from it. Mios of the current team are unexceptional, but they play well as a unit. What they do have is that German winning menatality - that mental toughness which wins things against the odds. England had a team equal to theirs in 1990 and a better team than theirs in 1996. But the result was the same. England bottled the pens; Germany stayed mentally strong and won. Credit to them for that. But that mental toughness has a downside. It can easily become the sort of arrogance which Thomas may be displaying, and which was displayed bny Moeller at wembely in 1996. That is why Germans have not always been the most popular people. Klinsmann and his team, plus the German people as excellent hosts, have gone a long way towards dispelling that image this summer, so it would be wise of Thomas not to try to go back to old German attitudes.

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  • 63.
  • At 02:30 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Gareth Phillips wrote:

England are not out of the World Cup due to any individual refereeing decision. Could the the four previous lacklustre performances also be explained due the "traditional" English excuse?

England are out because they are simply not good enough. Far from being a "golden generation" this was a mediocre bunch of players who were overhyped by a self serving media. Far from 1966 (or even 1990), this was a team comparable with the Graham Taylor era - vastly over reliant on one talented but erratic individual with a load of journeyman triers alongside.

Very simply, England's passing and movement were abysmal. Much of the problem focuses on Gerrard and Lampard who are fine for a league such as the Premiership where the midfield is like a ping-pong contest and defending generally poor. However at top international level the passing has to be so much better, the movement more thoughtful and dynamic.

In contrast England were pedestrian and lacked basic technique, normally resorting to hoofed balls forward. Similarly, one up front isnt the problem - watch how France play with a lone Henry using intelligent movement from Ribery and Maladou and accurate balls from Zidane. Ask yourself the question as to why Arsene Wenger hardly ever signs English players.

Until British football gets away from its obsession with power and pace and starts to get in line with the rest of the world in passing, movement and imagination, its difficult to see any of the home nations achieving anything.

As to Germany, a victory for them would vindicate the Bundesliga where admission prices are cheap and players wages not at the lunatic levels elsewhere. There are also high levels of fan democracy in the running of clubs. Ironically, the only club in financial trouble there is Borussia Dortmund who had adopted the "English" ownership model.

It would be nice to think that a German victory would herald a better deal for fans in this country instead of the exploitative nature of British football. That it might (allied with England's inadequacies) promote a debate about the nature of organisation of the English/British game and its division of income and resources. After all, "milk it dry of every penny" is not a philosopphy likely to encourage the long term health of the game. Sadly, I'm not holding my breath, as the new season will surely see even more hype surround what have proved to be a bunch of overpaid mediocre players.

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  • 64.
  • At 02:31 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Tate wrote:

Thomas is being somewhat unfair. Of course, England's World Cup record is nowhere near as good as Germany's. That is obvious. But cheating in 1966! How does he work that one oot? i didnt see any English player diving or trying to get an opponent sent off. Like Germany did last week when they tried successfully to influence the ref to send off Sweden's Lucic. One german player even patted the ref on the back after the red card had been issued, which was dosgraceful behaviour.

Thomas should be thanking the English - well one Englshman anyway. I well remember the awful decision of Englsh referee Jack Taylor to give Germany a penalty in the 1974 final when Holzenbein dived. That decision deprived a brilliant, superior Dutch team of the WC triumph their football had deserved, and I have not seen Thomas going on about Hozelbein's cheating.

I have a high regard for Klinsmann and the sort of football his team are playing. I really don't mind at all if they win the WC. But they do not have superior players to England and other countries. Far from it. Mios of the current team are unexceptional, but they play well as a unit. What they do have is that German winning menatality - that mental toughness which wins things against the odds. England had a team equal to theirs in 1990 and a better team than theirs in 1996. But the result was the same. England bottled the pens; Germany stayed mentally strong and won. Credit to them for that. But that mental toughness has a downside. It can easily become the sort of arrogance which Thomas may be displaying, and which was displayed by Moeller at Wembley in 1996. That is why Germans have not always been the most popular people. Klinsmann and his team, plus the German people as excellent hosts, have gone a long way towards dispelling that image this summer, so it would be wise of Thomas not to try to go back to old German attitudes.

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  • 65.
  • At 02:39 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

Torsten (61), that is infuriating! My support for Germany is now hanging by a thread! Exactly HOW is Germany the home of football??? It's exactly that kind of arrogance that made the 5-1 thrashing so sweet.

I had practically all but buried my bad feelings towards the German team (see my post number 41) but if you win the WC, PLEEEEASE do not start singing our sacred Baddiel&Skinner anthem, it will only fire bad feeling again when recently you had deservedly won so much of our support.

I'm just about still supporting the Germans but now I'm one mixed up cookie!!

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  • 66.
  • At 02:39 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

Guys, you have to pay the Germans more respect...Paul's entry is so pathetic! They played well in every game in the world cup and their strikers together have scored 8 goals - compare that to the English performances and you see easily that they could never have won it.

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  • 67.
  • At 02:40 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Matt Davies wrote:

Lets be fair. For a team who prides to come from the best league in the world, who invented the game, and banged on about 1966 and how this time they had the best team, and best chance, England were very poor.

They deserved to be knocked out in the group stages for mere boredom of play. If they had been in nearly any other group they would not got as far as they did.

Lets not be so prideful, and lets start admiting when they were woeful.

Don;t get me wrong, there are plenty of near world class players, but the politics involved takes over.

Lampard should have been dropped, Beckham shouldn't be captain or in the team. Owen and Rooney (because they are big names) were practically forced to go injured, when they could have taken some inform players.

I wouldn't be surprised if the FA were given millions just for commercial reasons and having Beckham there.

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  • 68.
  • At 02:44 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Rooney's Left Foot wrote:

Interesting - but completely irrelevant! - point about the gold stars... Of course, Uruguay have two gold stars. Hope that helps.

Come on Portugal. They are diving, cheating, cynical gits. But they are also skilful, free-flowing, spontaneous and powerful. (Ronaldo to score the winner, please. Now that would be very very funny).

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  • 69.
  • At 02:46 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Giuliano wrote:

There is no doubt that the German league lack of stars and appeal. I remember that the only Italian who decided to play in Germany was Ruggiero Rizzitelli when he was almost 65…he actually scored the decisive goal of the tournament…what an achievement!!!

The German squad is just a group of average players who could win against Poland at the very last second and drag themselves to the penalties against Argentina. Why is everybody saying that Germany are playing good football?

FORZA MATERAZZI!

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  • 70.
  • At 02:47 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

Good luck to Germany - though I hope the French win it now we(England) have gone out...

Talking of the England loss - I put it down to something that we all accuse the Germans off - arrogance. The Germans were modest about their chances, whereas to listen to English fans, the Cup was won before we set off. Too often we expect to win games because of who we are, when the Germans and French and Italians win them because they prepare and have the mental strength to carry on and win. Peter Crouch blames the penalty misses on 'exhaustion' - how come Owen Hargreaves (arguably the hardest worker on the pitch) was able to net his??? Could it be some of the German work ethic and commitment has rubbed off on him?

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  • 71.
  • At 02:47 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

post8 andrew..I see a bright future for scotland, narrow the gap in ranking etc...ahahahahahahahh! you've really cheered me up today, i'm going to waltz out the door with a happy heart now in the sure knowledge that humour is not dead!

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  • 72.
  • At 02:50 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Tommy Saxondale wrote:

I never thought that I'd say this, but I think I want France to win the World Cup. Alright a few of their players are over the hill, but it's a team laced with a genuine bit of magic and some real talent and I'd much rather a team with a bit of fantasy win the World Cup than another load of well drilled, energetic work-horses.

This is nothing personal against Germany because I've got a lot of respect for them, and I'm completely convinced that if this current England squad had had German style organisation and mental strength to go with the undoubted talent, we'd have been nailed on to win the World Cup - instead of a load of players inhibited to perform as they really can and quivering wrecks under the pressure of another penalty shoot-out.

I'm also of the opinion that a World Cup triumph secured on home soil is only about 60 or 70% of the achievement of winning the thing on foreign/neutral turf. Yes I know that negates '66 and all that' for England too, but I'm firmly of that opinion. Therefore I want a team other than the host nation to win this cup for that reason too.

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  • 73.
  • At 02:51 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Helge wrote:

First of all, you shouldnt write your team off. The game against Portugal was very impressive and if they are able to reproduce such gameplay consistently in a big tournament then everything becomes possible. After all England had with just 10 men more and clearer chances than Portugal with 11.

And will we be able to win against Italy? Its not impossible. But I really doubt than anyone will see us ousted in penalties. ;)

One last thought. In my opinion its useless to debate which team is better. Thats decided on the field and may change from day to day. So why not just enjoy it?

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  • 74.
  • At 02:51 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Christian wrote:

As a German, I will of course support my nation. However, I am not as certain as some other people that they will win it....
In my opinion they do not have the quality players other nations possess. As for Enland, I am sad to say that I don't think they will ever win a major title again, for one reason: Throughout a tournamnet (nowadays) you will encounter opponents that are very difficult to beat, in other words it will come to penatlies. And if it comes to penalties England always appears to be a little bit edgy and nervous (this is very remarkable since Engalnd had, in my opinion, the best squad since 1966 and the best euorpean team, so they should have been much more calm). Somehow I think the English players cannot deal with the pressure of penalties (just remember the bodylanguage of Steven Gerrard, he did not look confident at all)...
Please excuse any grammer and/or spelling mistakes(my english got pretty rusty over the years)!!!!

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  • 75.
  • At 02:51 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Christian wrote:

As a German, I will of course support my nation. However, I am not as certain as some other people that they will win it....
In my opinion they do not have the quality players other nations possess. As for Enland, I am sad to say that I don't think they will ever win a major title again, for one reason: Throughout a tournamnet (nowadays) you will encounter opponents that are very difficult to beat, in other words it will come to penatlies. And if it comes to penalties England always appears to be a little bit edgy and nervous (this is very remarkable since Engalnd had, in my opinion, the best squad since 1966 and the best euorpean team, so they should have been much more calm). Somehow I think the English players cannot deal with the pressure of penalties (just remember the bodylanguage of Steven Gerrard, he did not look confident at all)...
Please excuse any grammer and/or spelling mistakes(my english got pretty rusty over the years)!!!!

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  • 76.
  • At 02:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • deb wrote:

hi there,
in the last few days i have been regularly bought newpapers and i think it is amazing how you blame to have been kicked out from the world cup by c ronaldo..rooney played for how long? 62"??he was never dangerous n he didnt do much and even though i think ronaldo should have been involved he has no decisional power so blame the referee!!england would have lost anyway u missed 3 penalties we cant blame no1 else

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  • 77.
  • At 02:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • John Cleland wrote:

Why would you 'truly depise' Oliver Kahn? He is a consumate professional and achieved the almost impossible in 2002 - a goalkeeper, yes goalkeeper, winning the 'official' player of the tournament.

Yes, he can display a certain arrogance, but I'd say that has been an essential component which has led him to be the best in the world four years ago.

Seriously, what on earth leads you to 'truly despise' someone you have probably never met? It's a strong word, and surely football is not about that. Remember, the FIFA anti-racism messages before the games? Come on, if we want to clean up football, then we shouldn't be hearing this from ANYONE, let alone a BBC blogger for goodness sake? Please apologise...

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  • 78.
  • At 02:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • deb wrote:

hi there,
in the last few days i have been regularly bought newpapers and i think it is amazing how you blame to have been kicked out from the world cup by c ronaldo..rooney played for how long? 62"??he was never dangerous n he didnt do much and even though i think ronaldo should have been involved he has no decisional power so blame the referee!!england would have lost anyway u missed 3 penalties we cant blame no1 else

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  • 79.
  • At 02:53 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • deb wrote:

hi there,
in the last few days i have been regularly bought newpapers and i think it is amazing how you blame to have been kicked out from the world cup by c ronaldo..rooney played for how long? 62"??he was never dangerous n he didnt do much and even though i think ronaldo should have been involved he has no decisional power so blame the referee!!england would have lost anyway u missed 3 penalties we cant blame no1 else

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  • 80.
  • At 02:53 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • David Anderson wrote:

I think both the Argentinian ref and Blatter must think we are all stupid.

It is blindingly obvious that there was no intention to send Rooney off straight after the incident until Ronaldo put his spoke in. You can clearly see the ref run over and stand pointing for the free kick. He did not reach for a card (in his usual flashy and pompous manner) until Rooney gave Ronaldo a shove to tell him to leave the ref to make his own decisions.

Blatter is, as usual, not happy until England are out. However, he could at least do the decent thing and keep his mouth shut as opposed to insulting us with his support for the referee.

As for Fifa investigating Rooney, it is the actions of the likes of Ronaldo that is ruining the beautiful game. It is Blatter's job to do something about it but it is evident that this will never happen while he is in charge.

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  • 81.
  • At 02:58 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • deb wrote:

hahah england u ll be luckier in 4 years time maybe...u will never be strong enough111111111111

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  • 82.
  • At 02:58 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Marc wrote:

I would'nt say that England won't ever become worldcup winners again. They have great players but what it lacks is teamplay. Their games were awful to watch and people are fully aware of that. However, I was really glad to see how enthusiastic people were and I am sure they will be again in four years time. That is plenty of time for England to get started again.

I believe Germany will win the cup. They are the only team that have performed well persistently. We deserve the 4th star. In any event, it is only a game!

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  • 83.
  • At 02:59 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Luigi Nicoletta wrote:

the one thing I don't understand is why people, especially the English, always go on about other nations being cheaters, divers, corrupt and playing negative football.

The truth is all of the above attributes can easily be found in the England too, see the likes of Alan Shearer and in fact to win a tournament you need a combination of so many factors...

So what I would say to the English crowd reading is:

1) your players are far too overrated and over-paid for what they are really worth

2) critisise others (especially more successful teams)when you are in a position too...e.g. after you have added at least 2-3 more stars on your shirt (which in my opinion will never happen again unless you cheat your way on home soil like in 1966)

3) learn the tricks of the profession rather than just sitting in defeat and accuse the Portugese of playing dirty/negative football (the truth is the portugese are currently better at football than the English and they have showed it not once but twice in 2 years) - the Hand of God didn't make the tournament more ugly in 86 it added spice to it

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  • 84.
  • At 02:59 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

England has the best players in the world?? Haha...thats pretty steep. Rooney and Terry/Ferdinand but thats it.

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  • 85.
  • At 03:00 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Koki wrote:

Deutschland! Deutschland!

As you can see I support the German team and this for good reason! I am actually glad the English team lost against Portugal. I don't understand this fuss about Ronaldo and Rooney. Please explain: how could have Ronaldo convince the referee to show Rooney the red card? - I mean it was obvious that Rooney kicked the Portuguese quite hard in his private parts, wasn't it? And Rooney wanted to kick him (and did not slip or whatever)! And sure, Ronaldo was happy that Rooney was sent off. If it had been the other way round Rooney had been the smiling one! Now Ronaldo is partially blamed for England loosing the game. How childish ...!

Please, show some symathy for the Germans! The hostility that English show towards the Germans is really obsolete, inappropriate and embarrassing. Leave all this shit behind most English bear in their mind when thinking about Germany. Yes, they are nice and frank! They are wonderfull hosts and deserve to win.

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  • 86.
  • At 03:00 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Christopher wrote:

I find myself in a very awkward situation - I have close colleagues who are Portuguese, French, German and Italian. Each one will be unbearably smug if they win so I can't favour any of the teams left in it. Can't we just rerun all the quarter finals?

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the one thing I don't understand is why people, especially the English, always go on about other nations being cheaters, divers, corrupt and playing negative football.

The truth is all of the above attributes can easily be found in the England too, see the likes of Alan Shearer and in fact to win a tournament you need a combination of so many factors...

So what I would say to the English crowd reading is:

1) your players are far too overrated and over-paid for what they are really worth

2) critisise others (especially more successful teams)when you are in a position too...e.g. after you have added at least 2-3 more stars on your shirt (which in my opinion will never happen again unless you cheat your way on home soil like in 1966)

3) learn the tricks of the profession rather than just sitting in defeat and accuse the Portugese of playing dirty/negative football (the truth is the portugese are currently better at football than the English and they have showed it not once but twice in 2 years) - the Hand of God didn't make the tournament more ugly in 86 it added spice to it

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  • 88.
  • At 03:04 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • AndreasR wrote:

Let me mention two things about two probably overhyped issues:

1966: 1966 really has been a drama for Germany, because all hope, all desires got lost within an in total great, but from our perspective lost footballmatch. And it was really an issue to that time, while it became during the years (say 3 generations of football enthusiasts) more and more a running joke: "Ah by the way: 66, the Englisch, stolen goal, end of the world etc..." But you will hardly find anybody, who has ever seen that goal, nor somebody who really still cares about. So just take it as comment as we take it being krauts: In doubt as a joke.

Andi Möller: I remember that game very well, and I must ask you to forgive him. AM has been the most sensitive German football-pro ever. He was even called by some evil minded pundits the first girl in the bundesliga. At that day he was under so much pressure, being personally 'boo-ed' by the Englisch supporters during the whole game, that he has just been extremely relieved after a) scoring, b) having been him to win the match.
At the end a not very sportive, but considering the background, understandable gesture.

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  • 89.
  • At 03:06 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Roger wrote:

The defeat against Portugal is still fresh in every English fan's mind and probably will be until 2008. However, we must not forget that the Portuguese team is world class and they have the results to prove this. Twice semi-finalists and once runners-up in the last 4 major tournaments. Unbeaten in 2 years (WC qualifiers and 17 competitive games) gives them a better 2 year record than any of the other semi finalists. Taking all this into consideration, they are not out of place in the last four and would be worthy champs. Those who blame them for England's exit have little knowledge of football. We all know that the coach was the biggest culprit.

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  • 90.
  • At 03:06 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • jeremy wrote:

Everyone is talking about the ``big players`` Rhonaldino beckham rooney etc remember a champion team always beats a team of champions and that was illustrated when France beat brazil...
France will win this world cup against Italy 2-0 because they have a champion team and if henry starts firing watch out it could be 4-0 German and Italian football both a reputation of being defensive not entertaining defensive let,s get the cup back to the brazilians of Europe FRANCE ALLEZ LES BLEUS>>>>>>>>>

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  • 91.
  • At 03:07 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Hi wrote:

Italy will win the game against Germany. Germany:Italy=1:2. I think it wont go to penalties.

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  • 92.
  • At 03:09 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

I tell you what I would like to see tonight: 1-0 for Italy and the German players unsuccessfully trying to dive in Italy's penalty box in the last minutes.

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  • 93.
  • At 03:09 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Royster wrote:

I'm English i'm gutted that we've been eliminated but i truly hope now that Germany and Michael Ballck in particular lift the world cup on Sunday. My second favourite team is FC Bayern Munchen and i've always had an affinity with the Germans ever since Bayern were robbed in the 1999 champions league final against Manchester United. At least Bayern and the great Stefan Effenberg gained revenge in 2001!!

I say good luck to the Germans on Sunday!!

I just wish we had supermann ( i mean Jens Lehmann!) in goals for England.

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  • 94.
  • At 03:10 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Kevin wrote:

So Rooney did nothing wrong and was badly treated, the fault really lies with Ronaldo, who got him sent off and deprived England of the World Cup they deserved and would most surely have won. Get real!! Which competition were these people watching? Bad selection policy and poor performance made winning the competition an fantasy dreamt up by Eriksson and the media.
Also should Shearer and Nigel Martyn be charged with incitement to violence and bringing the game into disrepute?

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  • 95.
  • At 03:10 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Aaron wrote:

They are numerous victories ahead of you because they are an actual world power in football. Not a bunch of continually over-hyped also-rans.

Is this blog really the place for you to be outlining your own personal bias?

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  • 96.
  • At 03:11 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Art Dundas wrote:

Thomas is being somewhat unfair. Of course, England's World Cup record is nowhere near as good as Germany's. That is obvious. But cheating in 1966! How does he work that one out? I didn't see any English player diving or trying to get an opponent sent off. Like Germany did last week when they tried successfully to influence the ref to send off Sweden's Lucic. One german player even patted the ref on the back after the red card had been issued, which was dosgraceful behaviour.

Thomas should be thanking the English - well one Englshman anyway. I well remember the awful decision of Englsh referee Jack Taylor to give Germany a penalty in the 1974 final when Holzenbein dived. That decision deprived a brilliant, superior Dutch team of the WC triumph their football had deserved, and I have not seen Thomas going on about Hozelbein's cheating.

I have a high regard for Klinsmann and the sort of football his team are playing. I really don't mind at all if they win the WC. But they do not have superior players to England and other countries. Far from it. Mios of the current team are unexceptional, but they play well as a unit. What they do have is that German winning menatality - that mental toughness which wins things against the odds. England had a team equal to theirs in 1990 and a better team than theirs in 1996. But the result was the same. England bottled the pens; Germany stayed mentally strong and won. Credit to them for that. But that mental toughness has a downside. It can easily become the sort of arrogance which Thomas may be displaying, and which was displayed by Moeller at Wembley in 1996. That is why Germans have not always been the most popular people. Klinsmann and his team, plus the German people as excellent hosts, have gone a long way towards dispelling that image this summer, so it would be wise of Thomas not to try to go back to old German attitudes.

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  • 97.
  • At 03:13 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Uli wrote:

I like Paul's artikel. It's nice to traditionally dislike certain teams without any further hostility. That's what makes the true football fan.

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  • 98.
  • At 03:18 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • shahram rosrami wrote:

why do germany win the every game and nobody say anything abut it.

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  • 99.
  • At 03:19 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Nothing like an Englishman flapping on about 1966 to bring a wry smile to the rest of Europe.

I'll definitely be supporting the host nation to lift the cup. I too was won over by the warmth and good spirited nature the locals displayed during my brief stay in Berlin. But that's not why I'll be cheering them on. They've consistently been the most pleasing to watch throughout the finals, and showed the commitment and style so lacking in all of England's performances. Is it any wonder that England's best player in their most enjoyable (to watch) game earns his crust in Germany. The supposedly superior premiership supplied us with a series of dull and uninspired performances from England who were lucky to make it as far as the last eight.

I'm with Thomas on this one.
Germany have earned their stars over the years. and earned the bragging rights to go with them.

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  • 100.
  • At 03:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Doog wrote:

Personally I want Germany to win the wolrd cup. I know, it's amazing to think that. I couldn't believe myself when I shouted "yes" when Germany equalized against the Argies. But the point of the fact is, most English hate Argentina far more than any dislike for Germany anymore mainly due to the cheating south American/latin European way of playing football. The diving, the shirt pulling, the faining injury and all the other dirty tricks they use to win with no conscience issues. So, in short. Thanks Germany for a well hosted competition and also playing a much cleaner game than you used to.
I look at who's left in the WC and the Germans are the only non cheating* side left in the WC so it has to be them.
* Relatively speaking of course, all sides cheat a little whether it's going to ground a litle easy or slight shirt pull.

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  • 101.
  • At 03:21 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Paul Hallett wrote:

To be frank, I think most of the 'skillful' teams are out of the World Cup. I consider myself European but the sight of Italy scoring one goal against the Ukraine and then camping in their own half sort of fits their stereotype really; attack once then spend the rest of the game in retreat.

The Germans have, once again, come good in a tournament and whilst they've not been the best out there, have sent the Argentinians home which I thought would be beyond any team in this WC. I cannot bring myself to cheer them on though; the sight of Ballack, a man that I think would lick himself if he were Ice Cream, lifting the World Cup induces a strange guttural moan from somewhere deep within my soul.

No, I am now sure having Zinedine Zidane starting to come good has put my faith into skill and team work so it is going to have to be the French for me from now on and I must admit, it would be good, thanks Tomas, to see the Germans there getting the hiding.

Still sick to my eye tooth about England giving up again…

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  • 102.
  • At 03:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

Being half German and English has posed many a problem as a football supporter, particularly as i would, at a shove, prefer Germany rather than England despite living in England, which led to about six months of banter back in 2001.

And while disappointed at England's refusal to play with any heart until down to ten men. The player's idiocy in lumping the ball up to Rooney, horribly undermined by the manager in a position as a lone striker, despite its repeated failure meant there was little despair when they finally so weakly succumbed. It was the only likely outcome. Though not since the 2005 FA cup final (and I am a Arsenal fan) has any team less deserved a penalty shootout win than Portugal who played with distinct lack of imagination or flair against 10 men for an hour.

Naturally I would now like to see Germany go on to win it. Particularly as, for the first time in a major tournament since I have supported them, they are a pleasure to watch with their attacking style.

However, France with Zidane has played some scintilating football and Italy have looked very solid without being overly defensive, and Germany's record against the latter is far from convincing. So the world cup is far from over and arrogance from the like of Thomas is merely asking for trouble- the linesman's decision hardly implies cheating by either team. A word thrown about with little caution throughout this world cup when, with a few notable exceptions, the diving has not been exceptionately worse than that observed in the premiership imho.

But I still think Germany have a good chance and will be cheering them all the way, though even if the only outcome was the relaxing of the english stereotype of Germans, and them playing good football, this will have been an excellent tournament, and incidentally, Klinsmann for England? Please

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  • 103.
  • At 03:25 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Roger wrote:

I'm backing the Portuguese to win. Blaming them for England's exit is laughable.
All educated football fans know very well that England have only themselves and a Swede to blame. The Portuguese have been the best performers in the last two years out of all the semi finalists. They have been twice semi finalists and once runners up in the last four major tournaments. Unbeaten in WC qualifiers (leading scorers in qualifiers too)and unbeaten in seventeen competitive games we can't dispute that this team is world class. Portugal would be worthy champs!

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  • 104.
  • At 03:27 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • j wrote:

I really do not understand the negative sentiment towards the fate of the German team. I say, show some humility and not least some respect for a better team. They are playing on home soil and, for getting this far at least, they deserve to win the thing! A Germany-France final would be like a dream! Italy-Portugal, in my opinion, would make for a rediculous display of poor acting.

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  • 105.
  • At 03:32 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Ewan Spence wrote:

Hmm, you know if you replace the words "Germany" with "Scotland" in this piece, you'd be shot down in flames, just like Andy Murray was, like Jack McConnel was, etc, etc. Whats good for the goose isn't good for the gander, eh? And you wonder why us Scots get a bit miffed with double standards from BBC Sport and the Media...

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  • 106.
  • At 03:33 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • sven-olaf wrote:

about todays match: if the german spieler will loose against the italians, we will send them to a nun´s school outside of heidelberg, where they will teach the young girls home economics. for men of honour like them, the shame will be un - BEAR - able!!!!
(i hope you still remember old blackadder?)
greetz from bremen, germany

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  • 107.
  • At 03:34 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

Ramses, what you said means that in every WC or EC the world class players have to underperforme. I think this isn't right. And the funny fields are not german, they are dutch and the groundsmen worked to the rules of FIFA. I wish good luck to erveryone who deserves to win. And this includes Germany.

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  • 108.
  • At 03:37 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Vilius wrote:

While the "stars" are underperforming in this World Cup, it is team effort that is showing in the end. England started to play like a team with a heart only after Rooney was sent off. You need a team, not a selection of "stars". As to Portugal, I think they clearly deserved to win against Holland. It is more difficult to say with England, because the English side gets large credit for managing well with 10 men. But you can't say anything or anyone prevented England from scoring the penalties except for Ricardo and the English strikers themselves.
Portugal seems to me have a heart for staging a good battle against France.

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  • 109.
  • At 03:37 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Groundhopper wrote:

already reaching the semi-final is a sucess. Whatever comes on top is great. And now the german team is playing football unless 2002 where Germany played very poor, however reached the final somehow.

I think Klose is underestimated, he could play in any league. Reason he is not in Italy yet might be the domestic trouble in Italy :-)

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  • 110.
  • At 03:40 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Rui wrote:

I can't believe the comments made by both the english press and the english fans. Rooney deserved to be sent off. It was not Ronaldo's fault! If you look at the images again, you will notice that as soon as Rooney puts his foot on Ricardo Carvalho, the referee holds Rooney's shirt in order to stop him to continue doing that.
As for Carragher's penalty the referee did not blow the whistle so that is why Ricardo did not move! Jamie was so nervous that he desperately wanted to kick the ball!
As Mourinho once said, the English has to start asking to themselves why they are not capable of winning tournaments! Right now, England are not better than Portugal or the Czech Rep. or Holland! And none of them are favourites at the international level

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  • 111.
  • At 03:41 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Alessio wrote:

It appears that all major German newspapers have already decleared victory, trashing Italy in all possible ways. Could be true, since the German team is more compact, organized and disciplined than the Italian counterpart. But what will it happen if Italy wins? Any suggestion anyone?

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  • 112.
  • At 03:41 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

Forza ragazzi, facciamogliela vedere!
Germans, before thinking on which is the best way to lift the cup, you have to win the match.
Like Trapattoni once said:" mai dire gatto se non ce 'hai nel sacco" (never say cat if you don't have it in the bag already)

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  • 113.
  • At 03:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Darren Nicholls wrote:

I'm English & like the rest of our fans am gutted we lost, that said we didn't play well in the whole tournament – did we really deserve to be in the semi finals? Would we have beaten France (I’d like to think so!)

Who to support? I honestly hope the Germans win; they've put on a brilliant World Cup and played some excellent football. Unlike our team they didn't just turn up thinking they'd win it just because (apparently) they have 'world class' players. Unlike England they move on, remember when we beat Germany 5-1? What have we done since then compared to Germany? They’ve been to a WC final and are the semis of yet another.

Stuff McClaren, we should be after a German manager! We’d do a lot better! And maybe get some German builders in to sort out the farce that is Wembley.

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  • 114.
  • At 03:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Alessio wrote:

It appears that all major German newspapers have already declared victory, trashing Italy in all possible ways. Could be true, since the German team is more compact, organized and disciplined than the Italian counterpart. But what will it happen if Italy wins? Any suggestion anyone?

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  • 115.
  • At 03:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Matthias wrote:

To my German compats: Thomas, get over that Goal in 66! That is really bad sportsmanship. We should finally accept and forget it once and for all.

To Flo: sure, we have an impressive WC record. But I hardly remember any German team getting so much praise for their style of playing attacking football like this one (actually I think only the 72 European cup generation had a smilar approach, but I just saw a few replays of their matches). 82 and 86 have been nightmares of lousy football, establishing the image of boring but effective play. Good these days are over. Hopefully they will never come back.

4th star or not, after following the great articles and comments on these blogs for several weeks, we already can say that Germany is a big winner.

Thank you to the authors, and thank you for the great posts from England fans returning home. This is already our "first cup". The 2nd one would make it perfect, no doubt.

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  • 116.
  • At 03:47 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Keith wrote:

To Thomas: the Wembley Goal was a Goal because the linesman and referee decide it was a Goal. We didn't cheat. Yawn! Get over it will you!

I'm also hoping that Germany fall short but there would be one beautiful aspect because I'm convinced there is somebody who definitely doesn't want them to win. Kahn will hate it when Lehmann is parading with the trophy :-)

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  • 117.
  • At 03:48 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Alessio wrote:

It appears that all major German newspapers have already declared victory, trashing Italy in all possible ways. It might be so, since the German team is more compact, organized and disciplined than the Italian counterpart. But what will (or should) happen if Italy wins? Any suggestion anyone?

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  • 118.
  • At 03:50 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Uwe wrote:

I am surprised by the fact that people still insist that the England team was the best one since 66, it clearly was not! Too many people confound having good players with having a good team. I would agree with most people that England had more individual talent in their team than Germany, but football is not about having loads of individually talented players on the pitch but about having a team playing efficiently. The managers of two big footballing nations did not understand this and their teams -England and Brazil - went home early.
If England get a manager who is less impressed by names and has a clear idea about how the team should play England will be more succesful, unfortunately I doubt that McLaren is the right person for this job.

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  • 119.
  • At 03:51 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Flatlander wrote:

Yeah...I don't think he wants to play in the second division of Italy ;-)

Bring on anyone.
Germany will beat them. Maybe they wouldn't, if they were not the hosts but they are. And historically they win world cups at home....

Germany : Italy ==> 3:1

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  • 120.
  • At 03:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • kpot wrote:

i believe the germans deserve to win it as the have been efficient as always. they dont always play well but always play as a team. England have one of best teams in the world but the tactics and positions were all wrong
Finally sco on the germans

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  • 121.
  • At 03:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Uwe wrote:

I am surprised by the fact that people still insist that the England team was the best one since 66, it clearly was not! Too many people confound having good players with having a good team. I would agree with most people that England had more individual talent in their team than Germany, but football is not about having loads of individually talented players on the pitch but about having a team playing efficiently. The managers of two big footballing nations did not understand this and their teams -England and Brazil - went home early.
If England get a manager who is less impressed by names and has a clear idea about how the team should play England will be more succesful, unfortunately I doubt that McLaren is the right person for this job.

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  • 122.
  • At 03:54 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Garrett wrote:

@superjim

and you are forgetting that the 4th goal was also illegal.Two photos prove that 3 fans ran onto the pitch only seconds before that goal had been scored.
Overall you won on to illegal goals in 1966.These two goals helped you to avoid what?PENALTIES!And on what do you normally go out?PENALTIES!And against which team?THE GERMANS.

Generally the problems of the english team is that you have highly skilled players in your team but they always forget how to play the game as a team.When it counts England fails.
Well....at least your Queen is save!!!

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  • 123.
  • At 03:55 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • keith wrote:

As a European living in the USA, I am glad that the trophy will end up in Europe. I would love to see Germany win it as they have been great hosts and it was great to see the German flags everwhere. England had a good squad for the World Cup but were coached by a real chancer.

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  • 124.
  • At 03:55 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Jodee wrote:

I am an English female and my boyfriend is German but lives with me in the UK.

We both watched the game on Saturday in a bar whilst on holiday in France and my boyfriend was genuinely upset when England lost (unlike the young French lads on the next table who proceeded to jeer at us for about 20 minutes!)

So, England may be out but if my German boyfriend was happy enough to wave an England flag on Saturday then I'm definately going to be waving my Germany flag tonight!

GO GERMANY!

Rather them than France anyway :-)

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  • 125.
  • At 03:57 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • keith wrote:

As a European living in the USA, I am glad that the trophy will end up in Europe. I would love to see Germany win it as they have been great hosts and it was great to see the German flags everwhere. England had a good squad for the World Cup but were coached by a real chancer.

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  • 126.
  • At 03:57 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Jack wrote:

I like the Germans and hope that they will win the WC. All these "world-class" players like Ronaldo,Ronaldinho,beckham,... play very very bad and the unknown german players know how to fight and play good football. it's always the same.
Also the WOrld Cup in Germany is very good organisated ,the people are nice and friendly.
GERMANY!

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  • 127.
  • At 04:02 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Alan_Berlin wrote:

O.K. lets be honest about this, England (and other nations who play similar football) are never going to win a World Cup again as long as the referees are so bad. It's ok making a mistake or two but when most of the opposition throw themselves to the ground at the slightest touch and the ref supports them (with red and yellow cards) then we might as well give up.
Take Rooney for instance, he fights to keep the ball and gets up time and time again, comes back for more, wins the ball and then the opposition fall down (laughing I'll bet) and the whistle goes, against him!!!
It happened to Holland and to lesser footballing nations from Africa as well. These nations haven't a chance as long as the rules are so freely interpreted.

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  • 128.
  • At 04:05 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Darren Nicholls wrote:

Good Point Uwe about England managers being impressed by 'names'. Do you think Walcott would of been on the plane had he still been at Southhampton? Bent from Charlton diserved to go, maybe if he plays for Liverpool he'l get a game. The same could be said about Defoe - e should of gone ahead of Owen who'd been out for most of the season. Maybe it's not a valid point as he plays for Spurs but for me I think Sven was always a bit star struck. I won't even go into the Beckham debate...

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  • 129.
  • At 04:05 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Garrett wrote:

One more thing on the 1966 "victory":

Let me put this diplomatically polite:
Hurst kicked the ball and the man on the line scored.
Face it guys:you may have unjustly won in 66.That's become a curse.And as long as you do not admit to the probably unjust victory it will stay alive.But YOU will NEVER admit that.Keep on living in your Wembley Dream as you will never become WC again.But that - I guess or even know - is a pain that you are used to.
God save the Queen

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  • 130.
  • At 04:05 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Matt C wrote:

Hey Peter how can u say only Rooney, Terry/Ferdinand are good English footballers? Im no Arsenal or Chelsea fan, im not even English but how can you not mention Ashley Cole, probably the BEST left back in the world, and Lampard voted 2nd best player in the world behind Ronaldinho. You may wanna check the line up again son!

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  • 131.
  • At 04:08 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • davyb wrote:

this is funny. I am a Scot who lives in the USA and lived in Germany for 6 years. My daughter was born there. I also travel to Scotland games. We have a rivalry with a bigger neighbour and it was always a lot more important to us to beat them. What I discovered living in Germany is that the Germans really quite like the English and many things about English culture. The Germans are simply a better footballing nation over 40 years than the English, who cling onto a World Cup win which FIFA did everything in their power to gift to them in the formative years of the post-war football era. The modern World cup is a test of nations who like football as a sport and not as a soap opera as the English do. If you did't enjoy the culmination of the last 2 years puffing and whining, the next 2 years until McLaren gets sacked will be even worse - you simply do not have 11 talented players. At least you could learn to be gracious to a host country who have consistently played the best attacking football in the tournament and who are simply better at football by every measure - and will be for a long time to come.

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  • 132.
  • At 04:08 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Vilius wrote:

While the "stars" are underperforming in this World Cup, it is team effort that is showing in the end. England started to play like a team with a heart only after Rooney was sent off. You need a team, not a selection of "stars". As to Portugal, I think they clearly deserved to win against Holland. It is more difficult to say with England, because the English side gets large credit for managing well with 10 men. But you can't say anything or anyone prevented England from scoring the penalties except for Ricardo and the English strikers themselves.
Portugal seems to me have a heart for staging a good battle against France.

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  • 133.
  • At 04:09 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • brux wrote:

Paul Fletcher is at least honest, but I still don't believe that the Brits have now overcome their Germanophobia.

It is a bit shocking to read that Fletcher has only now discovered modern Germany. It has been there for quite a while, Paul.

The problem goes much deeper and has to do with a nation that ruled much of the world, but not for very long. After all, there is also still the inferiority complex vis-a-vis the French, right?

Unless Britain finds a comfortable place in the family of European (!) nations, this is just useless drivel. My suggestion is to show up next time with a British squad.

To Superjim I'd say: Check again the 1966 footage. The 4th goal was scored with supporters on the pitch. Clearly not a correct goal either.

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  • 134.
  • At 04:13 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • John wrote:

I love how the English still rant about the Germans. I mean, the English people still suffer from the "lost empire" syndrome: they won the Second World war to see the Americans take over world affairs; they continuously bring up the 1966 (sigh..) World Cup as a reminder that, in 2006, England is still relevant to football. In fact, England isn't relevant to football anymore. And the English fans much less. The messianic habit of seeing in Rooney (an immature kid, frustrated and in need of psychological help, clearly) the new savior of England illustrates that. 1966 is gone. Meanwhile, England lost, again.
Germany, on the other hand, has shown that football is not so much about "stars", but about team spirit, devotion and fortitude. No Beckham, no Rooney, no pompus stars. Hence the victories.

Thanks,

John

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  • 135.
  • At 04:16 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Miguel Cro wrote:

I really hope Portugal wins it now- all the other teams have won it before- I think that the underdogs could do it this time round!

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  • 136.
  • At 04:17 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Scherif wrote:

Thomas
you seem to forget what your team did in 1954, kicking the hell out of hungarian players, Didn Argentina deserve a penalty against germany? Didnt Klose deserve a red card what he did to the goal keeper?
At least We lose on penalties to strong teams, not to Bulgaria or Croatia or cheating our way with hesitant referees, you are just another sour kraut.

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  • 137.
  • At 04:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Jonathan wrote:

I'm from Malta thats split between Azzuri fans and England fans I live with two die hard italy fans and tehy are making my life hell as england are out please oh please let them not win the world cup as i wont be able to live this down for another 4 years and might even have to move out.

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  • 138.
  • At 04:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • peter dorsam wrote:

i hope this world cup has shown the so called football fans who "hate" their rivals that football is in fact "the beautiful game" and should be played in the spirt of international friendship. as a german fan i want my team to win but i truley dont mind the outcome of the coming games as long as they are exiting to watch and all the teams play their best

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  • 139.
  • At 04:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • brux wrote:

Paul Fletcher is at least honest, but I still don't believe that the Brits have now overcome their Germanophobia for good.

It is a bit shocking to read that Fletcher has only now discovered modern Germany. It has been there for quite a while, Paul. Probably longer than you have been around.

The problem goes much deeper and has to do with a nation that ruled much of the world, but not for very long. After all, there is also still the English inferiority complex vis-a-vis the French, right?

Unless Britain finds a comfortable place in the family of European (!) nations, this is just useless drivel. My suggestion is to show up next time with a British squad.

In principle, I would want the best team to win, but I am always uncomfortbale with Italy: Most Italians still think that cheating is OK (that's why Berlusconi was so popular), but are they really doing a favour to football with this attitude? Mind you, quite a number of the Italian players may be heading for jail back home. As German comedians pointed out, this may motivate the players: A world champion may be allowed to shower alone in an Italian jail. ;-)

To Superjim I'd say: Check again the 1966 footage. The 4th goal was scored with supporters on the pitch. Clearly not a correct goal either.

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  • 140.
  • At 04:21 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • georgm wrote:

I'm German and I actually think Italy will make it tonight. They know how to score when they've got a chance. My bet: 3:0 Italy.

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  • 141.
  • At 04:23 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • brux wrote:

Paul Fletcher is at least honest, but I still don't believe that the Brits have now overcome their Germanophobia for good.

It is a bit shocking to read that Fletcher has only now discovered modern Germany. It has been there for quite a while, Paul. Probably longer than you have been around.

The problem goes much deeper and has to do with a nation that ruled much of the world, but not for very long. After all, there is also still the English inferiority complex vis-a-vis the French, right?

Unless Britain finds a comfortable place in the family of European (!) nations, this is just useless drivel. My suggestion is to show up next time with a British squad.

In principle, I would want the best team to win, but I am always uncomfortable with Italy: Most Italians still think that a little cheating is OK (that's why Berlusconi was so popular), but are they really doing a favour to football with this attitude? Mind you, quite a number of the Italian players may be heading for jail back home. As German comedians pointed out, this may motivate the players: A world champion may be allowed to shower alone in an Italian jail. ;-)

To Superjim I'd say: Check again the 1966 footage. The 4th goal was scored with supporters on the pitch. Clearly not a correct goal either.

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  • 142.
  • At 04:25 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Schnucki wrote:

Flo: Apart from maybe Michael Ballack ( who of course recently signed to play......*in England* ), there are no German players that are world class. Suuure you may think so, but obviously the rest of the world doesn't because Ballack was the highest ranked German in the 2005 FIFA player of the year list, at position 16! Lampard came second only to Ronaldinho - albeit a distant second.

Germany also played some pretty crap football before the World Cup remember ( 4-1 loss to Italy in May??! ).....or has this conveniently been forgotten?

Italy to win tonight hopefully on penalties :-)

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  • 143.
  • At 04:26 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • mark wrote:

germany should have half a star becuase west germany won and that doesnt count

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  • 144.
  • At 04:28 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • doog wrote:

One word describes how a team can beat a load of talented individuals.......GREECE!! I still scratch my head to the question, how did they win Euro 2004? The answer is being greater than the sum of their parts!Germany in the final of the last world cup and knocking on the door of the next one is a classic example of team work, passion and belief over a load of over paid primadonnas!

Credit where credit's due!

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  • 145.
  • At 04:29 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • brux wrote:

Paul Fletcher is at least honest, but I still don't believe that the Brits have now overcome their Germanophobia for good.

It is a bit shocking to read that Fletcher has only now discovered modern Germany. It has been there for quite a while, Paul. Probably longer than you have been around.

The problem goes much deeper and has to do with a nation that ruled much of the world, but not for very long. After all, there is also still the English inferiority complex vis-a-vis the French, right?

Unless Britain finds a comfortable place in the family of European (!) nations, this is just useless drivel. My suggestion is to show up next time with a British squad.

In principle, I would want the best team to win, but I am always uncomfortable with Italy: Most Italians still think that a little cheating is OK (that's why Berlusconi was so popular), but are they really doing a favour to football with this attitude? Mind you, quite a number of the Italian players may be heading for jail back home. As German comedians pointed out, this may motivate the players: A world champion may be allowed to shower alone in an Italian jail. ;-)

To Superjim I'd say: Check again the 1966 footage. The 4th goal was scored with supporters on the pitch. Clearly not a correct goal either.

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  • 146.
  • At 04:31 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

Ah so the English are no different to the Scots.
The English always criticise the Scots for not supporting them, yet they show the same sentiments themselves for their own large neighbours.

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  • 147.
  • At 04:34 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • chris wrote:

i have nothing against germany,but i would like to see france v italy final.
as for thomas england did not cheat in 66 its the ref and linesman you should be knocking,same as maradona 'hand of god' goal .

so for me its FORZA ITALIA and bonne chance francais

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  • 148.
  • At 04:36 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Jorge wrote:

TO THE DUTCHMAN, AND EVERY ONE ELSE! PORTUGAL OUT PLAYED GERMANY IN EURO 2000, 3-0 WITH THE “B” SQUAD, OUT PLAYDED HOLLAND AND ENGLAND IN EURO 2004 AND WORLD CUP 2006, SO THE “LIKES” OF PORTUGAL, HAVE SOME RESPECT. CONTINUE TO EXPLAIN A PORTUGUESE TEAM SPORTING CLUBE DE PORTUGAL OUT CLASS IN 2004/05 IN UEFA CUP TWO ENGLISH SIDES AND A DUCH TEAM, BENFICA IN 2005/06 OUT CLASS TWO ENGLISH SIDES ONCE MORE, IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. I NO IT’S HARD BUT DEAL WITH IT!!!

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  • 149.
  • At 04:37 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Julian wrote:

I have to say I do get fed up talking about 66. It's like at Wimbledon. Virginia Wade (yawn! Very annoying) gets wheeled out every year since there haven't been any English tennis players who have won a grand slam in the last however many years. As a nation we do like to live in the past.

I expect to see Germany win the World Cup, just because they seem to have that winning habit and it's on home soil. However I would like to see Italy win. Apart from having lived in Italy for a year, it has been good to see them play some positive football compared to their usual negativity and hopefully by winning it it will encourage them to continue playing attacking football. Besides, after the match fixing scandal they are going to need a bit of a boost.

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  • 150.
  • At 04:37 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

A single star is classy.

Three or four stars makes the shirt look like it belongs to a diligent Macdonald's employee.

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  • 151.
  • At 04:37 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Jon wrote:

Come on Germany!

I harbour no rivalry with you at all being only 20 years old and also Germany is easily my favourite European country (well maybe the Czech republic comes close on the basis of Prague alone).

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  • 152.
  • At 04:38 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Matt C wrote:

Enough of the English/German banter lets focus on tonight and get some serious views on the scoreline, style of play, stars on the night? Im going for Italy 2-1, posession game frustrating Germany with a few silly cards, maybe a dismissal, Totti stepping up to take the limelight

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  • 153.
  • At 04:38 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • brux wrote:

Paul Fletcher is at least honest, but I still don't believe that the Brits have now overcome their Germanophobia for good.

It is a bit shocking to read that Fletcher has only now discovered modern Germany. It has been there for quite a while, Paul. Probably longer than you have been around.

The problem goes much deeper and has to do with a nation that ruled much of the world, but not for very long. After all, there is also still the English inferiority complex vis-a-vis the French, right?

Unless Britain finds a comfortable place in the family of European (!) nations, this is just useless drivel. My suggestion is to show up next time with a British squad.

In principle, I would want the best team to win, but I am always uncomfortable with Italy: Most Italians still think that a little cheating is OK (that's why Berlusconi was so popular), but are they really doing a favour to football with this attitude? Mind you, quite a number of the Italian players may be heading for jail back home. As German comedians pointed out, this may motivate the players: A world champion may be allowed to shower alone in an Italian jail. ;-)

To Superjim I'd say: Check again the 1966 footage. The 4th goal was scored with supporters on the pitch. Clearly not a correct goal either.

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  • 154.
  • At 04:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • John wrote:

I love how the English still rant about the Germans. I mean, the English people still suffer from the "lost empire" syndrome: they won the Second World war to see the Americans take over world affairs; they continuously bring up the 1966 (sigh..) World Cup as a reminder that, in 2006, England is still relevant to football. In fact, England isn't relevant to football anymore. And the English fans much less. The messianic habit of seeing in Rooney (an immature kid, frustrated and in need of psychological help, clearly) the new savior of England illustrates that. 1966 is gone. Meanwhile, England lost, again.
Germany, on the other hand, has shown that football is not so much about "stars", but about team spirit, devotion and fortitude. No Beckham, no Rooney, no pompus stars. Hence the victories.

Thanks,

John

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  • 155.
  • At 04:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Frank wrote:

@Warren.

The cup will RETURN to europe no matter which of the 4 remaining teams win !!

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  • 156.
  • At 04:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Gordon Marshall wrote:

What a disgraceful article to be written by a so-called journalist. Germany have played attractive attacking football, never had to struggle against weak opposition and have not dived all over the place. I hope they win as they have been a breath of fresh air in this tournament.

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  • 157.
  • At 04:43 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Sérgio Oliveira wrote:

Portugal will win this world Cup. Portugal 0,5-0 France and then 2-0 against Germany (Nuno Gomes & Simão)

Regards from Lisbon to all the soccer fans... :)

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  • 158.
  • At 04:44 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Nicholas wrote:

I don't know why the English fans are such sore losers. They were beaten by portugal just because they failed to score their penalties. The sending off of Rooney is something that happens in sport. Deal with it. I'll love to see Ger vs Fra in the finals. Zidane a true big game player.

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  • 159.
  • At 04:44 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • brux wrote:

Paul Fletcher is at least honest, but I still don't believe that the Brits have now overcome their Germanophobia for good.

It is a bit shocking to read that Fletcher has only now discovered modern Germany. It has been there for quite a while, Paul. Probably longer than you have been around.

The problem goes much deeper and has to do with a nation that ruled much of the world, but not for very long. After all, there is also still the English inferiority complex vis-a-vis the French, right?

Unless Britain finds a comfortable place in the family of European (!) nations, this is just useless drivel. My suggestion is to show up next time with a British squad.

In principle, I would want the best team to win, but I am always uncomfortable with Italy: Most Italians still think that a little cheating is OK (that's why Berlusconi was so popular), but are they really doing a favour to football with this attitude? Mind you, quite a number of the Italian players may be heading for jail back home. As German comedians pointed out, this may motivate the players: A world champion may be allowed to shower alone in an Italian jail. ;-)

To Superjim I'd say: Check again the 1966 footage. The 4th goal was scored with supporters on the pitch. Clearly not a correct goal either.

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  • 160.
  • At 04:45 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

I don't get it: Why are people still talking about 1966 and comparing star counts? Why not put all those historic trivia and out-dated rivalries aside and support the team(s) that have played the best football of the tournament so far? For me, this would lead to a final between France and Germany --- and Germany should win because they a) have not cheated so far, b) have been cheated (by the arbitrary exclusion of one of their most important players from the semi-final) and c) have arguably shown the best and most exciting performance as a team so far. Best wishes,
Pete

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  • 161.
  • At 04:46 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

I bet one night of drinks on Germany, with a German friend of mine.
He's a good drinker, it's gonna cost me a lot of money.
Remember Trapattoni, who once said: "mai dire gatto se non ce l'hai nel sacco" - never say cat if you don't have it in your bag yet.

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  • 162.
  • At 04:47 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

I don't get it: Why are people still talking about 1966 and comparing star counts? Why not put all those historic trivia and out-dated rivalries aside and support the team(s) that have played the best football of the tournament so far? For me, this would lead to a final between France and Germany --- and Germany should win because they a) have not cheated so far, b) have been cheated (by the arbitrary exclusion of one of their most important players from the semi-final) and c) have arguably shown the best and most exciting performance as a team so far. Best wishes,
Pete

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  • 163.
  • At 04:51 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

James

I'm at work, I can't be loughing alone in front of the screen. They'll figure out I'm doing nothing....

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  • 164.
  • At 04:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Len Cole wrote:

As an expatriot living in the US, I followed intently the plight of England. Yes [as they say here]we got screwed. Where else could Rooney put his foot while being pulled except down. Unfortunately we all know where it landed. Don't dismiss England for the future, Aaron Lennon showed brillance, Theo is on the horizon, and a new manager might just use a system of play that maximizes our talent.

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  • 165.
  • At 04:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Lewis Wood wrote:

im not really bothered what team wins it as long as it's not Portugal. The germans have played brilliant atacking football, the french have knocked out the holders, and the italians haven't been brilliant or had the hardest of games leading up to the semis, but there fans deserve something to shout about because like England, Italy have really under achieved in the past 15 years. Also they deserved to win euro 2000, and perhaps a rematch with France is in order considering how unlucky the italians were in that final 6 years ago. so actually its Italy all the way for me. GO ON ITALY!!!

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  • 166.
  • At 04:57 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • somerset moan wrote:

Very simple. A number of very expensive English so-called professional footballers lacked confidence, conviction, professionalism or simply the "Bottle" to concentrate and earn their rediculous salaries when it mattered most - from the penalty spot. There will be those that will bleat on about Sven, he has taken us to three major quarter-finals in a row, notwithstanding being set up by that disgraceful piece of so-called "Journalism" and being a very "Generous lover" [ the real reason one assumes for his strong jawline and receding hair! ;@) ] with certain Ladies... The England side played well to cope with one man down - not the first time I've seen a side play better WITHOUT Rooney - he may be talented but he's a ball hog who drags too many others out of position and is simply not creative or a team-player... having got through extra time - when a number of excellent chances were once again missed - they simply couldn't deliver when it was needed... they simply lacked the balls! Yes, I'm surprised Theo wasn't introduced in extra time to add spice, but that was Sven's choice. Lampard was pathetic all game, Beckam anonymous, Rooney poor, Gerard only semi-conscious, Robinson unimpressive and Terry lucky to stay on the pitch. Rooney is a young thug who needs knocking back a peg or two... fine him, confine him and his ugly chav girlfriend to their quarters... just manage him, for God's sake - he's out of control and is more trouble than he's worth at times...

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  • 167.
  • At 04:58 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • georgm wrote:

@152: Good idea, Matt!
I think Italy will win because the German team still lacks professionality. Let's say Germany has 3 goal chances due to their strong effort, but they don't score. Italy might have only one chance but scores.

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  • 168.
  • At 05:01 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • mamba wrote:

Dear guys, is nobody talking about italy? if i well remember, the semi final will be played between Germans and Italy.
Can you spend some poor words about Italy and what you probably think about the team. thank you

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  • 169.
  • At 05:06 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Andreas wrote:

@157:

Sérgio, I like your thinking. It contains Germany to win their semi final tonite....

But other than that, good luck to you and your team in Stuttgart on Saturday! ;-)

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  • 170.
  • At 05:11 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • somerset moan wrote:

Let's be clear, sergio... if Portugal win this world cup it will be a disaster for the game - they were not playing football at all. I have rarely seen such a blatantly obvious bunch of shameful cheats and liars - throwing themselves all over the pitch when they weren't even touched (it may be acceptable in the ballerina training grounds of Lisbon but not in any other self-respecting country), remonstrating to try and get players sent off and wasting time faking injuries and - surprise surprise getting up straight away afterwards: it is simply disgraceful and should result in bans... The revelation of the tournament has been the ability of the Germans to add flair and brilliance to their usual Teutonic reliability and I genuinely hope they or the French win. The Brazilians were sluggish and complacent. The Dutch strangely lacking in creativity - although one concedes Scolari is tactically very clever - the Argentinians out-manoeuvred, the Italians are creeping through on the flanks but I doubt they have the class... no, it's the fluid French or the galloping Germans, I hope, and what a final that will be...

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  • 171.
  • At 05:13 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • somerset moan wrote:

Let's be clear, sergio... if Portugal win this world cup it will be a disaster for the game - they were not playing football at all. I have rarely seen such a blatantly obvious bunch of shameful cheats and liars - throwing themselves all over the pitch when they weren't even touched (it may be acceptable in the ballerina training grounds of Lisbon but not in any other self-respecting country), remonstrating to try and get players sent off and wasting time faking injuries and - surprise surprise getting up straight away afterwards: it is simply disgraceful and should result in bans... The revelation of the tournament has been the ability of the Germans to add flair and brilliance to their usual Teutonic reliability and I genuinely hope they or the French win. The Brazilians were sluggish and complacent. The Dutch strangely lacking in creativity - although one concedes Scolari is tactically very clever - the Argentinians out-manoeuvred, the Italians are creeping through on the flanks but I doubt they have the class... no, it's the fluid French or the galloping Germans, I hope, and what a final that will be...

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  • 172.
  • At 05:13 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Matt C wrote:

I agreed Georg it will be a very defensive display from Italy and the Germans will try from long range all night, but maybe a bit too far too score from. Italy will get a few chances mostly created by Totti and Pirlo. Toni to grab one or two goals, Italy France final, Italy win 2-1

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  • 173.
  • At 05:15 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Lake Constance wrote:

Hi,

reading Fletch's article and the following discussion makes me sick and think over my view of this blog!

Having read the blog right from the beginning of the WC, I had the idea that apart from supporting their national team in Germany all fans from wherever they come from have learnt one thing - to get along okay, or at least better than those generations before them. But Fletch's article is just a blunt show of prejudice disguised in new clothes.

What a childish argumentation...!

Actually, I don't expect any of the European or British fans to support Italy, Germany, France or Portugal, if they are not their squad, but at least to accept them for having reached the semi-finals! Even if it's hard.

And I thought this WC might have brought about a change in regard of jingoism! Obviously I was totally wrong.

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  • 174.
  • At 05:17 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • holger wrote:

The secret behind German seccess at WC tournaments could be what is better known as German Angst. As a result of this Angst the German public heated up by bad performances in the run-up to a tournament recurringly lowers its expectations. If the team fails pessimistst would turn out to be football experts. If they do better than expected there will be enough time to be euphoric after the next game. So German support just rises during the tournament. As a positive extra effect it takes pressure from the team.
For any German team it was always a psychological advantage to not be the supposedly Golden Generation. France had shown in 2002 what it means to have great expectations and to fail. Before the WC everybody said:"Too old, not fit,...".This time they had their surpising great comeback.

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  • 175.
  • At 05:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • kevin wrote:

In view of the fact that Portugal have never won it before(not to mention that England were very lucky to beat them in the 1966 semi-final)I'll be supporting - in order, Portugal, then France, then an united Germany(not West Germany). Although I'm pleased to see any European team win it. Pity that England let us all, and European football, down so badly, with their dull and inept performances. And, of course Rooney's thuggish antics and Beckham's spoilt-child display. What a sorry lot.

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  • 176.
  • At 05:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • John wrote:

Andrew wrote: "I'm serious, I see a bright future for Scotland and expect to see the gap between our ranking and England's close swiftly over the next few years."

Yeah, I also see England going down fast in the rankings if they play like they did at the World Cup... ;)

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  • 177.
  • At 05:21 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • adil wrote:

I don't know why I feel like blaming Rooney for English fiasco. After Beckham stepped out, Rooney of course should have realized that he is the most valuable player now, Its indeed surprising how he could afford to loose his temper on Ronald, I don't think referee marked him red for stamping testicles but rather for being belligerent on the field. I think red card was lose of both Rooney and the winning tempo of the other players. The English looked so tried and low on winning spirit that penalty shots were a mere outcome of how it succumbed to Rooney disaster. Full points though to Crouch and the rest for fighting the enormous odds.

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  • 178.
  • At 05:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • cüneyt wrote:

To Thomas,
yes you should not be so sure of having 4th star.you couldn't have come to semi-final if referees hadn't helped you by making decisions always on your side.For this reason ,sorry, ı do not want you to win the cup.ı'm always on the opposite side against you.

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  • 179.
  • At 05:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Jock McTavish wrote:

I see the old wounds are still there: Still suffering from hatred of the players that beat England in the past. Too many English people hold grudges against people who "stopped" them from winning the World Cup. If you don't win, you lose, if you lose, you should take it like a man and accept that the opposition are superior to you. Go back to the drawing board and work out what you did wrong, don't waddle in unjustified hatred of others.

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  • 180.
  • At 05:28 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • neil wrote:

Let's face it: England were awfull throughout the entire Cup. All the "stars" either got sent off, injured or missed a penalty. (Australia, for example, played far better against Brazil, than England ever did). Whereas Germany have played wonderful football against a backdrop of briliant, cheering stadiums and fully deserve to make the final. Go Germany.

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  • 181.
  • At 05:28 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Aidan O'Connor wrote:

well well and Englishman saying its ok to keep sporting grudges. i totally agree but ask why then do so many English look confused when the Irish celebrate their heroic failure, underperformance and lack of bottle. Germany or France for me and I'd go for Portugal above all others if they had a striker capable of performing at a tournament

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  • 182.
  • At 05:33 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Charlie Kiss wrote:

I agree. Although the one point in Germany's favour is that they are equal to England in that they don't tend to dive or play act. For that reason I think they deserve to be in the final, but after the magnificent display of Zidane (which sadly contrasts with Henry who pretended he'd been hit in the face) I have to say that out of the four left, I would like France to win.
On another note. I also agree that this English team was not the best since 1966, what about 1990? when we got to the semi final. What about the fact that Gary Linekar was never booked? that's something to be proud of!

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  • 183.
  • At 05:36 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • drewski1 wrote:

Thomas,
If you know you're footballing history, you'd acknowledge that England would easily have three stars by now, had they participated in the earlier World Cups. Just look at how they thrashed those "World Cup" winners.
Having said that, we haven't been good enough to win since 1966, given our inability to make penalties. The Germans have.
I'm for Portugal, only because they don't have a World Cup (or anything else for that matter).
ABD. Anyone but Deutschland!

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  • 184.
  • At 05:37 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • nange wrote:

France all the way, they have improved game by game and the great man has rolled back the years! Allez les Bleus!! Just shows what a bit of team work can do(remember Greece in the Euros), even with an ageing team!!

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Well well, what to say...?
Germany is a very strong team and to be honest if they do play well and deserve to Win, after the 82' big Italian Win - which I still remember, fantastic game- they have strong chances to win this one. However,' the ball is round' and being Italian I wish Italy to 'smash' Germany 3-1 like in 82'! Having said that, that is only my simple wish and so again..
For me Winning against Germany would be equal to winning 'a World Cup in the Worls cup'. Let's Enjoy tonight game and ..''VINCA IL MIGLIORE'' but surely...FORZA AZZURRI!
Carlo

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  • 186.
  • At 05:38 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • jonathan wrote:

FORZA MAGICA ITALIA.
We are going to play the best match in this WC. I don't know if we'll win again, but i'm sure we'll make the best we can. About others team, i can only say that none of them yearn to win the WC if you watched the way they've played. In my point of wiew ,one of the reason is because the national leagues are very long e snervant for players.

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  • 187.
  • At 05:40 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • carlo wrote:

Well well, what to say...?
Germany is a very strong team and to be honest if they do play well and deserve to Win, after the 82' big Italian Win - which I still remember, fantastic game- they have strong chances to win this one. However,' the ball is round' and being Italian I wish Italy to 'smash' Germany 3-1 like in 82'! Having said that, that is only my simple wish and so again..
For me Winning against Germany would be equal to winning 'a World Cup in the Worls cup'. Let's Enjoy tonight game and ..''VINCA IL MIGLIORE'' but surely...FORZA AZZURRI!
Carlo

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  • 188.
  • At 05:40 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • carlo wrote:

Well well, what to say...?
Germany is a very strong team and to be honest if they do play well and deserve to Win, after the 82' big Italian Win - which I still remember, fantastic game- they have strong chances to win this one. However,' the ball is round' and being Italian I wish Italy to 'smash' Germany 3-1 like in 82'! Having said that, that is only my simple wish and so again..
For me Winning against Germany would be equal to winning 'a World Cup in the Worls cup'. Let's Enjoy tonight game and ..''VINCA IL MIGLIORE'' but surely...FORZA AZZURRI!
Carlo

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  • 189.
  • At 05:41 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Frank wrote:

I hear everybody complaining of the poor performance by top players and teams just playing "crisis management instead of positive attacking football." However, please keep things in perspective and realize the intensity and brutal toll the sport has on these athletes. The World Cup is undoubtadly football's greatest spectacle. It's also a monthlong grind, and the fatigue starts to sink in.

Games every few days, many playing under a hot, muggy sun. Travel across a country that's almost as big as California. Pressure that grows with every game. And that's on top of the nine months - or more - that many players just spent with the top and very demanding clubs accross Europe.

"The World Cup is a special test," said Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira."No matter how hard you try, you can't completely overcome that tiredness."

Or the injuries. Or the mental exhaustion.

Some teams manage better than others. Look at Germany, Italy, France and Portugal. They all have outstandin players but they definately do not look like it. But, they managed to outlast the other 28 teams, and it's not only because of skill, timing and luck.

Italy is probably the strongest team mentally, able to ignore distractions from a corruption scandal that is rocking the domestic league. Despite several grueling games, Portugal has managed to remain in the tournment. France saved its energy and now looks fresher now than a month ago. And Germany is among the fittest teams after coach Juergen Klinsmann overhauled its training program.

"Physical condition is very important, because in soccer these days, 95 percent of the time the team that runs more wins," Italy defender Gianluca Zambrotta said. "Compared to the past, soccer is much more athletic and the pace is much faster."

When the tournament began in 1930, there were only 13 teams and it lasted two weeks. Now 32 teams play 64 games over four weeks, and qualifying begins two years out.

So give them a break and enjoy the teams from a perpective that the best crisis management team will win and not necessarily the team with the most lightning strike attack with precission pin point accuracy.

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  • 190.
  • At 05:41 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • simon lewis wrote:

I hope they win tonight and I will be cheering them on all the way - a superb young team with drive and focus. They derseve to win both for the way they play and the German people who are such friendly and welcoming people - GO DEUTCHSLAND!

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  • 191.
  • At 05:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • A Man from se continent wrote:

yeah man, you're just bitter.

For me, i always considered the Englishmen as fair minded, great sportsmen.

After reading you blog, I have to change my mind...your're just like bitter kids who are encountering for the first time essential rules of civilisation ("No, you will not throw that portion of sand in his eyes just because he has a bigger bicycle than you do!")...for me that is one of the major things I will take from reading this blog.

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  • 192.
  • At 05:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Rich wrote:

Blimey, it's interesting to see how the attitude of the German fans has changed seemingly overnight. Yesterday you were friendly and honest. Today you are arrogant and blinkered.

So.... What happened between yesterday and today eh?

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  • 193.
  • At 05:43 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Rich wrote:

Blimey, it's interesting to see how the attitude of the German fans has changed seemingly overnight. Yesterday you were friendly and honest. Today you are arrogant and blinkered.

So.... What happened between yesterday and today eh?

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  • 194.
  • At 05:44 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Frank wrote:

I hear everybody complaining of the poor performance by top players and teams just playing "crisis management instead of positive attacking football." However, please keep things in perspective and realize the intensity and brutal toll the sport has on these athletes. The World Cup is undoubtadly football's greatest spectacle. It's also a monthlong grind, and the fatigue starts to sink in.

Games every few days, many playing under a hot, muggy sun. Travel across a country that's almost as big as California. Pressure that grows with every game. And that's on top of the nine months - or more - that many players just spent with the top and very demanding clubs accross Europe.

"The World Cup is a special test," said Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira."No matter how hard you try, you can't completely overcome that tiredness."

Or the injuries. Or the mental exhaustion.

Some teams manage better than others. Look at Germany, Italy, France and Portugal. They all have outstandin players but they definately do not look like it. But, they managed to outlast the other 28 teams, and it's not only because of skill, timing and luck.

Italy is probably the strongest team mentally, able to ignore distractions from a corruption scandal that is rocking the domestic league. Despite several grueling games, Portugal has managed to remain in the tournment. France saved its energy and now looks fresher now than a month ago. And Germany is among the fittest teams after coach Juergen Klinsmann overhauled its training program.

"Physical condition is very important, because in soccer these days, 95 percent of the time the team that runs more wins," Italy defender Gianluca Zambrotta said. "Compared to the past, soccer is much more athletic and the pace is much faster."

When the tournament began in 1930, there were only 13 teams and it lasted two weeks. Now 32 teams play 64 games over four weeks, and qualifying begins two years out.

So give them a break and enjoy the teams from a perpective that the best crisis management team will win and not necessarily the team with the most lightning strike attack with precission pin point accuracy.

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  • 195.
  • At 05:44 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Annett wrote:

So it's the bad Germans again. Yawn. Will you ever get over your trauma? If not: get used to freak out every time you face a penalty shoot-out.

By the way: most Germans I know supported England; and most of them love the place. So why STILL that animosity? Why assume that they enjoy your failure as much as you bathe in theirs (IF they fail)? If you enjoy the place: why not support the country? Naw, naw, I see, it's MUCH cleverer to get hung up on old-fashioned, unbalanced ideas that only a long-term bigot could hold up.

I would love to know how to explain the bitterness of the English whenever it comes to losing (and their splendid ability to find a huge amount of reasons for failing - which surprisingly rarely have anything to do with the team itself). Is it your gruesome media (meaning "The Sun" etc.) that keeps messing with your head? What could it be?
Imagine the Germans behaved that way...

God, how much I hope now that Germany wins!

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  • 196.
  • At 05:45 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

Hi!, i'm Italian, I hope that tonight, we'll win against germany, because I 8 them, we'll win 4-0, we will defeat that eaters of potatoes.......FORZA ITALIA!!!!!!!!!!FORZA AZZURRI!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 197.
  • At 05:45 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Rich wrote:

Blimey, it's interesting to see how the attitude of the German fans has changed seemingly overnight. Yesterday you were friendly and honest. Today you are arrogant and blinkered.

So.... What happened between yesterday and today eh?

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  • 198.
  • At 05:45 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Annett wrote:

So it's the bad Germans again. Yawn. Will you ever get over your trauma? If not: get used to freak out every time you face a penalty shoot-out.

By the way: most Germans I know supported England; and most of them love the place. So why STILL that animosity? Why assume that they enjoy your failure as much as you bathe in theirs (IF they fail)? If you enjoy the place: why not support the country? Naw, naw, I see, it's MUCH cleverer to get hung up on old-fashioned, unbalanced ideas that only a long-term bigot could hold up.

I would love to know how to explain the bitterness of the English whenever it comes to losing (and their splendid ability to find a huge amount of reasons for failing - which surprisingly rarely have anything to do with the team itself). Is it your gruesome media (meaning "The Sun" etc.) that keeps messing with your head? What could it be?
Imagine the Germans behaved that way...

God, how much I hope now that Germany wins!

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  • 199.
  • At 05:46 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

"madhu, actually only one of France, Italy and Ukraine (probably Italy) will make it to Euro 2008..."

UEFA's seeding is ridiculous, as is it's method for deciding who goes through when 2 team tie on GD (the head to head format made the "convinient" 2-2 between Sweden and Denmark possible 2 years ago).

According to UEFA, Greece and Sweden (one tournament wonders) are better than Italy and Germany!!

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  • 200.
  • At 05:47 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Sebastian wrote:

Thanks Warren, there is nothing to add.

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  • 201.
  • At 05:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Gareth wrote:

Right, as a 'completely unbiased' Englishman I feel we need to set the record straight on a few matters.

Firstly, yes the German's record in World Cups has been very impressive. It has also been phenomenally lucky. As compared to the English, Dutch, Spanish, etc. who have all been extremely unlucky. If the German's have mastered anything it is self-belief rather than football, and the annoying habit of not knowing when they are beaten.

To the guy who says this is the worst England squad since '66. Ahem, let me mention Andy Sinton, Geoff Thomas, Carlton Palmer, Des Walker, Alan 'Smudger' Smith, Chris Woods and all the rest of Graham Taylor's "inspired" selections in the qualifiers for '94.

Finally, to the matter of whom the English should support in the Italy v Germany match this evening. Let us go about this scientifically.

Pasta & Pizza v Sauerkraut and Bratwurst - 1 nil Italy.
Nastro Azzuro v Becks - 2 nil
Rome v Berlin - 3 nil
Vivaldi v Wagner - 4 nil
Baggio v Beckenbauer - 5 nil

So there you have it, in the penalty shoot-out of the 5 key areas of national achievement (Food, Beer, Capital Cities, Opera and Football) the Italians win hands down. Not to mention the myriad of other ways the Italians are better than the Germans such as Cars, Art, Architecture, History, Weather, Women. I could go on, although I do think the Germans would get the nod for philosophers.

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  • 202.
  • At 05:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • dani wrote:

To Andrew

Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha,.... I dont think i've laughed that hard in ages, Scotland? qualifying? Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha.


In your dreams.

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  • 203.
  • At 05:53 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • karen wrote:

Being a Brit living in France I was gutted at the performance of England and the "so called" great squad. I am a Chelsea supporter and FL is my fav player, but what a bad time he had, as well as many others. So it's now a Germany v France final for me, with France coming out the winners. As long as they beat the pants of Portugal on route.

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  • 204.
  • At 06:02 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Fred Jones wrote:

Germans think they are a superior race so maybe that's why they are sooo good at football... they use psychology to great effect

When the German machine starts rumbling and moved forward like tanks on a battle field there is hardly anyone capable of stopping them.

I for one hope the Italian team stops them tonight however.

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  • 205.
  • At 06:02 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Coosa wrote:

Talking rationally ... i don't like your blog since you talked from your heart rather from your brain ...
Discipline, Tactics and Experience all speak for the Italians;
It's true, that they don't play that attractive football, but effectively, they have the better chances that Germany.
I woun't easily believe that the defeat of 1st of March would be turned that quick and finally, teams with better experience reach the finals, it's how i see it; best examples are France, Italy and Portugal

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  • 206.
  • At 06:03 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Coosa wrote:

Talking rationally ... i don't like your blog since you talked from your heart rather from your brain ...
Discipline, Tactics and Experience all speak for the Italians;
It's true, that they don't play that attractive football, but effectively, they have the better chances than Germany.
I won't easily believe that the defeat of 1st of March would be turned out that quickly and finally, teams with better experience reach the finals, it's how i see it; best examples are France, Italy and Portugal

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  • 207.
  • At 06:04 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Annett wrote:

Our Klose, who art in the penalty area,

Hailed be thy committment.

Thy pass come.

Thy goal shall fall,

In Dortmund as it did in Munich.

Give us our goal today.

And forgive us our singing,

As we forgive our referees.

And lead us not into off-side,

But deliver us from the Italians.

For thine is the ball,

and the goal,

and the danger to score,

for ever and ever.

Somersault.

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  • 208.
  • At 06:06 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • georgm wrote:

Oh boy, this is getting tense!
@196: Francesco, was that necessary? Same is true for Gareth. Relax!

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  • 209.
  • At 06:12 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • lee jason wrote:

Tommorow's game aufwiedersen to
Germany .I guess that this is as far
as they can go.Its already written in
the stars Italy is going to win.
Gol Italia !

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  • 210.
  • At 06:14 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Kathrin wrote:

Come on Paul, you wanna see England catch up with the Germans? If, best case cenario, England now wins the WC every 44 years, I'm afraid we all may not live to see that happen! Btw, who says that within those 44 years Germany is not gonna win it at all? You guys got a lot of catching up to do...Try at the EC for a start!

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  • 211.
  • At 06:17 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • karen wrote:

Being a Brit living in France I was gutted at the performance of England and the "so called" great squad. I am a Chelsea supporter and FL is my fav player, but what a bad time he had, as well as many others. So it's now a Germany v France final for me, with France coming out the winners. As long as they beat the pants off Portugal on route.

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  • 212.
  • At 06:17 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

I live in France..so it can't be them (please god!)
I have an annoying Italian friend..so it can't be them.
As pointed out Germany would have far too many wins under their lederhosens...so it can't be them.
As for Portugal..well it just can't be them can it?

What should I do? Any suggestions?

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  • 213.
  • At 06:19 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Farrad wrote:

Give credit where it is due. Portugal should now go on to win; they are the Brazil of europe. Everyone is being too harsh on Ronaldo he did what any other player in any other team would have done; stood up for his team and fellow players.

I think Italy -v- Portugal final.

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  • 214.
  • At 06:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Farrad wrote:

Give credit where it is due. Portugal should now go on to win; they are the Brazil of europe. Everyone is being too harsh on Ronaldo he did what any other player in any other team would have done; stood up for his team and fellow players.

I think Italy -v- Portugal final.

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  • 215.
  • At 06:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Frank wrote:

I hear everybody complaining of the poor performance by top players and teams just playing "crisis management instead of positive attacking football." However, please keep things in perspective and realize the intensity and brutal toll the sport has on these athletes. The World Cup is undoubtadly football's greatest spectacle. It's also a monthlong grind, and the fatigue starts to sink in.

Games every few days, many playing under a hot, muggy sun. Travel across a country that's almost as big as California. Pressure that grows with every game. And that's on top of the nine months - or more - that many players just spent with the top and very demanding clubs accross Europe.

"The World Cup is a special test," said Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira."No matter how hard you try, you can't completely overcome that tiredness."

Or the injuries. Or the mental exhaustion.

Some teams manage better than others. Look at Germany, Italy, France and Portugal. They all have outstandin players but they definately do not look like it. But, they managed to outlast the other 28 teams, and it's not only because of skill, timing and luck.

Italy is probably the strongest team mentally, able to ignore distractions from a corruption scandal that is rocking the domestic league. Despite several grueling games, Portugal has managed to remain in the tournment. France saved its energy and now looks fresher now than a month ago. And Germany is among the fittest teams after coach Juergen Klinsmann overhauled its training program.

"Physical condition is very important, because in soccer these days, 95 percent of the time the team that runs more wins," Italy defender Gianluca Zambrotta said. "Compared to the past, soccer is much more athletic and the pace is much faster."

When the tournament began in 1930, there were only 13 teams and it lasted two weeks. Now 32 teams play 64 games over four weeks, and qualifying begins two years out.

So give them a break and enjoy the teams from a perpective that the best crisis management team will win and not necessarily the team with the most lightning strike attack with precission pin point accuracy.

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  • 216.
  • At 06:22 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • jonathan wrote:

FORZA ITALIA, FORZA AZZURRI, FORZA ITALIA, FORZA AZZURRI

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  • 217.
  • At 06:22 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

I'm English, but now we're out I'd like France to beat the Portuguese Synchronised Diving Team and Germany to beat the Italians.

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  • 218.
  • At 06:23 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • georgm wrote:

All right, one thing is for sure: I'll cheer as loud as I can for Germany tonight.

GO GERMANY!!!!

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  • 219.
  • At 06:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Romily wrote:

So england has lost with its best team ever, and germany is winning without top-class quality players?

Well, maybe this should tell you that football is not only about the brilliance of single players, but also about the dedication and teamplay, something I have been missing in the english games - they seemed to be playing halfhearted at best!

At the end of the day it's not about how good a team looks on paper, but how good they play together, and, most important, that they are able to score!

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  • 220.
  • At 06:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Toby wrote:

Come on Germany!!!

I am English by the way and am i the only English person here who finds those dumb English people who go on and on about the war, and how they hate the Germans totally PATHETIC?

This is the 21st century and time to get real, Germany is a great country and their football team is playing much better than ours at this tournament.

So best of British to 'em

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  • 221.
  • At 06:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • marieann wrote:

I hope and pray that France come to the peak of their form in order to positively and soundly thrash Portugal!!! A nice bonus if they can also manage to get Ronaldo sent off somehow.

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  • 222.
  • At 06:25 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Matt C wrote:

somebody get gareth and frank a violin, wat is this an essay contest? you people need to let go of this banter of who is better, who has the most gold stars, whos the teachers pet blah!blah!blah! To all the football fans out there who want to discuss The World Cup and not the history of Germany/England please forward your views on both semi final games and predictions on the final

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  • 223.
  • At 06:27 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • epluribusunium wrote:

I hear all this analizing. Where we went wrong?. Brazil went home ,Argentina went home, Holland too and many other good teams "failed" to make it.
Lets face it it was all good fun. and some times it's just the way the ball bounces or the call of the ref.
Stop analizing and enjoy.

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  • 224.
  • At 06:31 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • mahoi wrote:

Why the hell do you hate the portuguese?
if they win it's because they are better!
May be your wife or daughter run away with a portuguese for sure!

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  • 225.
  • At 06:33 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Farrah wrote:

I really don't want to see Germany win. In fairness, Argentina played better football than them in the quarter finals. And what was that fight at the end of the match all about?

It seems England's reputation of being a bunch of football hooligans is a bit undeserved when the German team has a brawl with another team right there on the pitch. Not forgeting that the German fans also fought with Polish supporters in the group stage.

For me, I'd like to see any team but Germany win. Vive la France. Viva Italia.

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  • 226.
  • At 06:35 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Ricardo wrote:

After reading some post around here i just want to say the following:

1.Most of england supportes and players aimed to play against a Portuguese team without Figo, Ronaldo, Deco, Costinha, etc...
2.When you go to a game with this in mind the only thing can happen is to loose.
3.The Portuguese team is a "team" as a all,of 23 players, not indivudual "stars" like others.
4.Those who know something about football know that the final will be Germany-Portugal.
5.The result....wait and see!

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  • 227.
  • At 06:37 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Nevil wrote:

Fair play? See statistics of Eng-Por...
Get ready for Wednesday...

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  • 228.
  • At 06:38 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

4 years ago Klose was a laugh, made a name by scoring a few against Saudi Arabia with his head. On the ground he was terrible. Couple of seasons ago he went to Bremen and made a fantastic developement no idea why but its there to see. I'd put him in my Fantasy Footie team anytime, one of the best strikers in Europe

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Well, Mr. Fletcher, I will start off by saying that I did not feel all that happy when England lost against Portugal on penalties. In fact, I was a bit saddened. I cannnot talk for all my fellow countrymen, but me personally, I always rooted for England at tournaments. And that is not because I have so many English friends but because I simply like the English way of playing football. The Premier League plays the fastest football. It's always attacking, never paying too much attention on defending and it's always rough but FAIR. English teams have always played the game like my National Team is playing it now. So you can believe me, I would have loved to see England advance. But unfortunately (and maybe thanks to a young unfair kid named Cristiano R.) this just wasn't your time.

One last thing about Miro Klose. You said your doubting his qualities as a striker and that you don't think you will see him wearing a Real Madrid-, Milan- or ManU jersey. I think you are dead right on that one. But I don't think that has to do anything with his abilities as a football player. It's because you won't see him in a Pepsi spot or his latest hair-do on a magazine cover. He is just a great football player ! In the last three weeks, I've seen Mrs Beckham on TV quite as many times as her husband. Maybe that should give the English football players something to think about. It's not about the "WAGS", tv commercials or magazine covers. But it's about one TEAM ! One guy giving all that he has for the others. If English players keep that in mind, I'm sure there will be a second golden star on your jersey sometime. You certainly got the talent. England, keep your heads up and see you in 2008 !

P.S.: Oh, don't get mad but I just can't help it: Did you notice that the only English player who did well in the shoot-out plays on a German team ? Never mind...

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  • 230.
  • At 06:39 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • David wrote:

I am a Chinese who was born in Hong Kong and watched English football when I was little. Now I live in USA. Football (soccer) is not the top professional sport in US. But I think there are many England fans outside of UK who are not English. And I am one of them.

I was really disappointed and hurt to see England ended the World Cup run without playing as a team to the level we expected. But I think the players and the coaching staff had done their best. Yes, they could have done differently to bring a better result. Hope they will have a fresh and renewal start with new manager and captain. Wish their best in Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010. By the way the temperature of South Africa in June and July is moderate. No more excuses.

It doesn’t really matter to me who wins the World Cup. I picked England and Italy to be in the final in the beginning. It is good to see the host country Germany to win. It is also not a bad thing to have a new world champion – Portugal. France had beaten Brazil and Zidane deserves to lift the trophy for the second time.

Keep supporting England. They will get their second star.

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  • 231.
  • At 06:40 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Mad wrote:

It's been rather interesting reading all the postings, just as it has been to watch all the world cup play.

Watching nearly all the games, it's been hard to see teams fall out of the match due to penalty kicks at the end. Who knows if Rooney hadn't kicked his opponent in the groin, or if Beckham hadn't been injured. It's like saying the United States would have still been in the mix if they hadn't drawn two red cards in the game against Italy (however proposterous their advancing sounds). The results stand, however, no matter if "the players win the games, the coaches lose the games and the refs ruin the games."

Personally, I'm less offended that Brazil is out of the tournament than I am that Italy and Portugal have "fallen" their way into the semi-finals. What ever happened to battling to stay on your feet, even in the box? Now refs that call the fake end up issuing 16 yellow cards a game and are slandered for their overuse. Whether it's Germany or Italy, Portugal or France who comes out on top, I just hope they do so by hard work instead of tricks.

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  • 232.
  • At 06:40 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • James wrote:

I had my money split between England and Germany at the start of the world cup, and it was looking good for a Germany-England final for a while there, wasn't it? Portugal are not a bad team, but they are pretty lucky to still be alive. This should have been England's cup, it's gonna be Germany's now. When will England see it again, that's the big question!

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  • 233.
  • At 06:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

Andrew: 'bright future for Scotland'You posted that one on another thread on bbc and it made me fall about laughing as much as it did this time! Thanks, mate..I really need something to laugh about these days and you sour and deluded scots are just the ticket. Keep posting please!

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  • 234.
  • At 06:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

What is all this about?
Fish and kartoffeln?
Since when English love zee cerrmanz?
Where are the bombers you were singing about at the start of the tournament?
Well, the only thing I can do then is to gather my fellow Italian friends in some pub and hopefully fly my flag in the streets of London, if we make it this time....
FORZA ITALIA
because 1-0 wins are wins anyway

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  • 235.
  • At 06:43 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Baryonyx wrote:

What I like about German Football is the grit and determination they show time and time again, and that with suposed players not rated as world class.
Its surly a great feat to achive the success that German Football has over the years.
Besides its a team game and the germans always show great team spirit!
So the question of the greatest players should not be on individual skill, but team effort and united skills. Just look at Brazil this time round.
Hoping for a great end to the tournament, its been a fun and exciting month! :)

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  • 236.
  • At 06:44 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • r. simpson wrote:

Is it really so important which side wins this silly cup? After all this whole event has been crafted to generate money, lots of it. Starting with FIFA's cronies and their ticket trafficking, fo FIFA's freeloading at the expense of the host nation - with unprecedented demands on tax legislation for instance, usurping locations, demanding and pocketing fancy hyper de luxe perks for its mandarins ever since the candidacy of hosting the WC had been prepared, determining what may be drunk /consumed and where by the public - by the national associations and their top bananas, down to the German organizers demanding government, provincial and municipal investments of the highest order, up to the final whistle and even beyond(investments which nobody really needs, while unprecendented cuts in the social budget for the needy are being imposed for reasons of "saving" expenditures). Lots of sticky hands got what they demanded on every level under the pretext that all must be megaperfect to match the hype that has been orchestrated self-servingly by the powers which take this much individual economic interest in this event. FIFA's WC has nothing to do with sports, sorry fans. Its just money for individuals who aim to be profiteers of your excitement, which they so cleverly have instigated, beers, flags and all. Purveyors of the fans fun supplies are another set of parasites of what used to be a truly mesmerizing sport. See the star players of international repute, hired as mercenaries for incredible amoutnts of money by the "big" clubs (all financed by your heartbreaking loyalty, dear fans)behave on the field: Considering themselves superb assets, protecting their personal value for potential transfers and higher salaries, they follow merely the advice of their advisers and business managers, and no longer their coaches (who actually do the same). No, it's not the team and the fans they owe loyalty (not even for the limited time they have been contracted), it is their own personal value (in money terms) and their own career which guideline their attitude on and off the pitch. Bullshit is what you hear when they implore their devotion to the fans, or selfishness, inviting more of fans' support, i.e. money. Wayne Roney, on account of his youth and apparent limited IQ seems not to understand these rules of the business yet, because he unselfishly seems to thrust himself into every match with all he has got, for the sheer love of the game, and rightfully the fans love him for this unspoilt enthusiasm. We shall see how long it takes for his advisers from club and elsewhere to convert him, so that his trademark energy bursts will be replaced by the usual cold, clever, calculating attitude of his playing peers around the globe. Worldcup, Champion's Leage, Eurocup etc - it is all and only about money. Football is the excuse, it provides show-off platforms for ex stars and former role models, it is a glamorous, hyper-luxurios playground for "suits" of all sorts. The fans crying for a "lost" lousy cup should rather cry about their own foolishness. You have been taken for a ride - again, and now once more.

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  • 237.
  • At 06:45 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Lib wrote:

The quality of the England team if a farce. How could you have even hoped to be in the semi-finals regardless of Rooney's unfortunate incident? The stats speak for themselves.....England missed more penalties in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday night than Germany have missed in their entire World Cup history! I'm with Thomas...go practice some penalties...

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  • 238.
  • At 06:47 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • georgm wrote:

Guys, you make me freak out right here.
Farrah: It was the Argentinians who started the brawl. Look at the footage!
And the German fans fought with the Polish? This has been one of the most peaceful championships ever! Read the news!
I can't believe this.

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  • 239.
  • At 06:51 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • tiny wrote:

i think italy will win over germany just because they are more world cup oriented and if thjey score a goal..bye bye germany...in the france portugal...well if you look at individual players ..just like against holland and england..bye bye portugal...but i think portugal will win because they are a group of "unknowns" but that play well together. so the final will be italy portugal to the dislike of fifa ..but it is always great to see an underdog go all the way

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  • 240.
  • At 06:53 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Alasdair Houston wrote:

This is what supporting football is about, having your own team, not wanting one of your main rivals to win, hoping anyone beats them and being jealous as hell when they are doing better than you (which seems to be most of the time). That is what makes it so frustrating seeing Scotland fans being pilloried and derided in the media for not wanting England to win.

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  • 241.
  • At 06:53 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Francesco wrote:

to R.Simpson

yes it does matter who wins. In Europe we're not fighting anymore in bloody wars, we do it with football.
It's the new european way of dealing with national pride.
Look at the Germans: I think I never seen them fly so many flags.
It's beautiful, we can take the piss of each other for years on a match result. Look at the English, still debating with the Germans over the 66 world cup.
Look at the Italians, always complainig about the way we lost the European cup in 2000.
Look at the Germans who sing "with Holland out we go to Berlin".
Look at how everyone has an idea on who should win and who shouldn't.

FORZA AZZURRI

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  • 242.
  • At 06:54 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

have we got a scottish moderator on this blog? every time i reply to scots brimming with schadenfreude i get blocked. I think we should be told...!

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  • 243.
  • At 07:02 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

Ah, so i might as well talk to the moderator as you obviously aren't letting any of my posts through. Is there a reason for allowing celts their unconstructive posts and not allowing mine? Are you indeed scottish as i suspected? You can email me and explain why if you wish. I will listen, I promise.

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  • 244.
  • At 07:06 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • bobbylebonfire wrote:

sorry, moderator..must have been the delay, my apologies

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  • 245.
  • At 07:15 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

I can't stand the negativity that surrounds the game these days. Paul Fletcher wants Germany to lose because if they won that might mean that they might win it and WOULDN'T THAT BE TERRIBLE because that would mean that ... er ... Germany had won 4 and England had won only 1.

It has been a fabulous World Cup, no better nor worse for the fact that England are no longer in it. Grow up, enjoy the game for what it is: ENTERTAINMENT.

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  • 246.
  • At 07:16 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Falk wrote:

@david bates
can't blame you :)
Thomas got a bit carried away there
Of course as German I root for my team. But wether they loose or win, those boys have earned my respect. Because on the field they are 11 friends.
If they'll go into this match with the same spirit they displayed before, I'm satisfied.
And if the Italians will be better - so be it. But they wont get it without a stiff fight :)

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  • 247.
  • At 07:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • ZARGORN wrote:

I don't think Germany has a better team than England. Certainly the premier league schedule does not help the English team and may be a reason why they never manage to get anything countable out of it. More importantly I have the impression that the attitude the players and the public have towards their team is damaging in several ways:

Why do you always talking about winning the cup before even having played a match? That ceratainly doesn't help you beat your next opponent.

The hype that is going on around the players and the meddling into their private lifes must be a huge burden for these people. Why does everyone have to know their spouses? I wouldn't be able to play well if I permanbently read about my wife in the newspaper.

Don't make the players great by talking about them. All the "best player in the world" stuff that is going on is not helping them. Look at Rooney. The responsibility of winning the world cup was put on the shoulders of a 20 year old. No matter how great a player he is, it is just a matter of time till he ticks out as he did against Portugal. Erikson has to take a lot of the blame for this one. Let Rooney earn his honors instead.

It is increadibly difficult to form a working team out of individual stars. The media blows up the ego of the players and at the same time feeds them with the idea that they idividually have to perform well to meet expectations. The best thing about Klose for me was that as Podolsky wasn't doing so well he supported him. From the way he played you could see that he valued the performance of his team mate higher than his personal goal of scoring more than he did in 2006. If you compare that to what Ronaldo, for example did ...

Why the heck did Erikson practice penalties? What can you practice about them? The players have to be calm and composed when they kick them and then they can score. By practicing them as much as Erikson did you reach exactly the opposite.

Maybe England needs a coach that has the courage to put some of these great players aside and show them that they have to earn it on the pitch all over again if they want to play for England. Germany often kicked some of the greatest stars out of the team because they hurt the team spirit and I think that is an important reason for continuing success at world cups. You don't want to have the players the fans and media think of as the best. Of course that hype helps the league most of the money comes from there. I think that is one reason why the premier league does so well. There are loads of percieved "best players in the world" and thats what brings in the money. I don't think I have the knowledge to judge there true skills but I think this hype is not good at all for their world cup ambitions.

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  • 248.
  • At 07:20 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

To Mr R Simpson: to quote "Is it so important which side really wins this silly cup?" Mate this is a World Cup blog, with people giving their views on the Countries in the World Cup and their chnaces of winning etc etc etc, at this moment in time who cares about your 'political' views on the FA, Government, Money zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Why post an 'essay' on a football site if you have nothing interesting to say about football...OFF WID YE BAD SELF!

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  • 249.
  • At 07:23 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • carmangledspanner wrote:

just a bit of triv from the Caspian for trivmeisterz

the 'Russian Linesman' back in 66 ref England's 3rd goal was born in Azerbaijan, not Russia

bloke in baku

long live the revolution

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  • 250.
  • At 07:24 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

If Italy win when playing Germany I think it will be a close one betweeen Italy and France. But I think now that Brazil are out France have a chance to win the World Cup

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  • 251.
  • At 07:25 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

If Italy win when playing Germany I think it will be a close one betweeen Italy and France. But I think now that Brazil are out France have a chance to win the World Cup

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  • 252.
  • At 07:30 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • dermot mc guckin wrote:

England are crap they need to practice penalties.


defoe should have been brought instead wallcott

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  • 253.
  • At 07:46 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • David Thompson wrote:

So you think the Germans like the English? Sorry pal, if you think that, then they've been pulling the wool over your eyes! You have to listen to the comments made on German TV when England are playing. Everyone of their commentators dislikes England and everything to do with it - they'd rather anyone beat England. For many Germans we are the real enemy. I've even had young Germans tell me that they hate the English, although they happily admit, they've never been to England and don't know any English people. However when I read some of the puerile crap that English press hooligans write about Germany, I have to say it turns my stomach and it's quite understandable that even young Germans react the way they do. The scum of Fleet St. or Wapping have a lot to answer for. As for me I want France to win, because they consistantly play the best football.

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  • 254.
  • At 07:54 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • gdakram wrote:

In that case, how about engaging in a football debate with the Italians? Haven't they won 3 times already? It's futile either which way and your reasoning for Germany's wishful loss is therefore rather inappropriate.

Germany will be winner in this semi-final. Oh yeah and by the way, when was the last time Germany lost in Dortmund? As a consolation, cross your fingers so that Portugal takes home the big cake in the end.

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  • 255.
  • At 08:12 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • ET wrote:

Rather ironic, as to how the English public would commend on their team at being good sports when the team is certainly not good enough to win. Then condemning the opposition for the occasional dive and such. Whilst their well behaved fans abroad can continuously chant songs of derogatory manner to the opposition. Oh grow up England! The team just is not good enough to win it.

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  • 256.
  • At 08:13 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • ET wrote:

Rather ironic, as to how the English public would commend on their team at being good sports when the team is certainly not good enough to win. Then condemning the opposition for the occasional dive and such. Whilst their well behaved fans abroad can continuously chant songs of derogatory manner to the opposition. Oh grow up England!

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  • 257.
  • At 08:29 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • jake wrote:

i think that england deserved to go. they need to stop thinking about all there money and start at least having a good time on the pitch

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  • 258.
  • At 08:37 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Healy wrote:

If Germany do win the World Cup this year, can they even class it as a 4th star anyway? Seeing as the past 3 World Cup victories were in the name of WEST Germany! Just a thought there.

It'd be like if Great Britain formed a team and used England's star as their "first" World Cup victory.

Complicated but a good point maybe?

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  • 259.
  • At 08:39 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • caroline wrote:

Let's face it, England were appalling.

The coach was a disaster, Beckham was a disaster and Lampard was beyond being a disaster.

Bottom line: this was not a World Class team and all the whining and complaining (especially offensive when it comes from those over-priced/under-talented players) won't make it so.

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  • 260.
  • At 08:42 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • arun wrote:

It's painful to see how much the english crave a hero. They hyped up their football team to unrealistic heights, even overlooking the fact that they were sub-standard through out the tournament. Crouch makes Salvatore Schillaci seem like Baggio. No wonder they consider their cricket team from last year that beat Australia as their greatest. They still believe Tim Henman's gonna win the Wimbeldon (next year). Winning in 1966 is nothing more than legislated nostalgia, when 80% of the population never witnessed it. Good luck tho' you still rule at rowing.

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  • 261.
  • At 08:52 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Sven wrote:

I do not understand the English supporters. I spent some months in the UK and noticed a hostile atmosphare. Why do you think you could win the WC and you are superior to others(e.g. Germany) ? A little baffling for me.

I do not comprehend your attitude towards Cristiano Ronaldo. What did he do wrong? Rooney deserved the red card. You (or mainly the English tabloids) should not blame the wrong person. Look at Crouch's conduct during the Trindad match.

Discussing the favourites, England is and will always be a trifling team. That's just objective - what did you do at the last important tournaments? Nothing.

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To Lake Constance (comment 173) - I would be really distressed if my one article altered your entire thoughts on this blog.

As I pointed out my time here has genuinely altered my opinion about Germany - though I should point out I have German friends and liked many German people prior to coming to the country for the World Cup.

I just don't think that having had a great time in your country means I have to support your team.

To Phillip Trempeneu (comment 229) - I said that slightly tongue in cheek about Germans wanting England to lose - though as I had a late beer in the bar at Dortmund station on Saturday night I did start to wonder...

And you are absolutely right about the penalty issue. Owen Hargreaves was the only one who looked like scoring and was outstanding throughout the match.

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  • 263.
  • At 11:03 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Alasdair wrote:

To Healy:
I'd thought that about Germany winning a "fourth title" despite the first three being under the WEST German banner, especially as they had to play East Germany in 1974. What about Czechoslovakia winning Euro 76, does that mean that the Czechs and Slovaks have only a half each now?

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  • 264.
  • At 11:36 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • SnowmanMikey wrote:

Normally at this stage with England out and given the teams that are left in the Competition, I would be cheering Portugal on. Indeed this year even more so, since it's almost certainly Figo's last World Cup Tournament, and I would like to see him go out a winner. I can't cheer for them though, as my good wishes for the Portugal team in general come a far second to an overwhelming need to see Christiano Ronaldo cry.

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  • 265.
  • At 11:43 PM on 04 Jul 2006,
  • Andreas wrote:

So it's Italy 2 and Germany 0. Ok. I can actually live with it. Italy was the better team on the field. They were more experienced, they knew how to do it.

I can really live with it. And I won't start a pizza boycott either. They really deserved to win.

Oh well, we used to be the world's #2, now we are the world's #3... Well, all we need to do now is beat that country that defeated England in Gelsenkirchen.

From tonite on my clear favorite to win the cup is FRANCE! Vive la France! Go Zizou!

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  • 266.
  • At 12:00 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • Lake Constance wrote:

11:58

Fletch,


feeling better now?

Good-bye BBC, welcome The Sun.

PS: Congratulations Italy!

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  • 267.
  • At 12:01 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • teutonicaUK wrote:

Phew, I'm glad it's over. Now the Germans can show what great hosts they REALLY are. As a German having left Germany 9 years ago and watching the charade from the UK, I had difficulties buying into this whole friendly-host-BS. As always, there are some exceptions (great people) otherwise I wouldn't have been able to bear 32 years there.

I bet they can now scrap the expanded fan mile in Berlin, too.

And, there'll probably a lot of happy English seeing Germany drop out of the tournament. I was quite suspicious of the whole fraternisation thing anyway - a bad omen from the start ;)

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  • 268.
  • At 12:09 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • alex wrote:

I was disappointed that it didn't go to penalties tonight between Germany V Italy. I was wondering just how good the German penalty machine would prove to be against Italy who have lost as many penalty shootouts as dear England in the WC. Now a Italy V Portugal final would be nice with Portugal losing on penalties and Ronaldo bursting into floods of tears.

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  • 269.
  • At 12:22 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • Andreas wrote:

@Lake Constance

What am I missing here? You wanted to ORDER people supporting our country in a FOOTBALL game?

I love the Netherlands, I even love some of the people living there (or occupying it as some call it, but anyways...) yet I would NEVER EVER be able to cheer for them at any kind of football match.

I can perfectly lose to Italy. With dignity. Sorry for having to say that but a defeat against England would have been a shame for Germany. Being kicked out by the Dutch - very unrealistic idea, I know - would be a reason to emigrate to AUS, NZ, CDN or anywhere else ;-)

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  • 270.
  • At 12:31 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • Falk wrote:

So you got your wish fletch.
(sniff)
But anyway, it was a good match.
Congratulations to Italy.
You`ve won fair.
And still, chears to our team. You`ve done great!


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  • 271.
  • At 12:44 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • Markus wrote:

This defeat hurts a lot (118th minute, was that really necessary?), but after all I saw a German team that played as well as it could in all of the games (do you hear me, Brazil?) and was beaten by a slightly better team tonight. So congratulations to Italy, you've made it and deservedly so, I have to admit. Nevertheless, we can go out with pride and remember a young team that could have almost made it.

From now on, I hope that Zizou gets his final show. Allez les bleus!

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  • 272.
  • At 01:01 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • Andreas wrote:

Yup, Allez les Bleus big time! Italy will not get their forth star on German soil!

Hey, being better, much better, than Holland, England, Brazil and Argentinia is quite something already...

Will England be able to play their friendly against Greece now? If not, can we not have our REAL final and substitute Germany for Greece on that one?

And as terrible as it sounds, but thanks to good old North Korea you don't have to watch celebrating Italians on the news stations ;-)

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  • 273.
  • At 03:13 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

To all those who wished Germany doesn't win just because it's Germany: Get a life, you chauvinistic bunch.

What a sad attitude, perpetuating one's prejudices in eternity. Well, it's handy, isn't it? You don't have to think twice: I know who my enemy is, so let's ridicule and attack him, no matter who's on the team, not matter how the team plays. Oh boy.

Don't get me wrong - this also applies to a fair number of German fans who "hate" the Dutch team, for example, because they remember an ugly attack on Rudi Voller decades ago. Similar mindless stupidity.

I wish more and more soccer fans would grow up into real fans of the game and cheer the teams who play well, instead of putting on their nationalistic hats and booing everybody but their own "nation", relishing hateful prejudices they inherited from their (grand)fathers. This is why I'm rather critical of German crowds, too, because of their indiscriminate whistling whenever the other team is in possession of the ball.

Some people - from all sorts of nations - do seem to have reached a more mature attitude, thank goodness. At some stadiums, at some public viewing sites one could witness fans of rival teams celebrating together - before *and* after the match.

Football isn't about hating people, it's about playing well. Or so I should think.

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  • 274.
  • At 04:15 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • Schweini 7 wrote:

To clarify a point on the (West) Germany thing... When Germany was reunified in 1990, the DDR ceased to exist and was absorbed into the BRD (which many outside of Germany called 'West' Germany). The official title of the united Germany is still the BRD - Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Until 1990 the two Germanies were known as Deutschland-BRD and Deutschland-DDR to provide differentiation, but once the DDR ceased to exist the united country was simply called Deutschland.

With this young team, we will win our fourth star for sure in 2010.

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  • 275.
  • At 07:21 AM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • jungle wrote:

Andrew, the Taff was right, you jocks will never get past the first round of any Tournament and as for either of you stuffing england,
is there something funny in them leaks and jock pies, its giving you strange dreams.

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  • 276.
  • At 02:53 PM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • Sanjeev Sharma wrote:

I won't be surprised after Italians lightning performance and in the context of serie A football scandal that they probably took performance boosting drugs.

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  • 277.
  • At 03:22 PM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • K wrote:

I am a German Londoner and have been living here for the past 7 years and I am extremly disappointed of a lot of commetns from the media and some football supporters, as I feel that it's no longer about the quality of the game but it's more a battle of certain nations. I find, that the media can influences hooliganism with their commetns and views. If you do not wish France or Germany to win, than you should give an honest answer why? Is it about football or history!!! It's very sad that this is the way, especially as we are in 2006!

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  • 278.
  • At 05:52 PM on 05 Jul 2006,
  • michael wrote:

You don't want Germany to win because you're concerned it will give them the advantage in debating the merits of Germany and England as footballing nations?


Okay, let me tell you one thing... for anyone other than the most jingoisitc Englishman there is NO DEBATE. Germany are clearly the superior nation, right now and throughout history.

European Championships:
Germany 5 x finalists, 3 x winners
England 0 x finalists, 0 x winners

World Cup:
Germany 7 x finalists, 3 x winners
England 1 x finalist, 1 x winner (did someone say fluke??)


Will one more win for the Germans make that much difference?? England are one of the worst large European nations in terms of football pedigree. And yes I've no doubt the Germans would have been happy to see the English beaten on penalties, it is my experience that most of the world loves to see the English beaten in sports... it certainly happens often enough.

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  • 279.
  • At 03:56 PM on 06 Jul 2006,
  • Eric S. wrote:

@Michael
Calm down and stop that stupid think with superior nation.
Football is a game played from 11 Man and not Nation vs Nation.

@Fletcher

Great article.
And I fully understand your reasons and your are not alone with your feeling about having Germany as a Rival Nr.1 is a good think.

To have a rival nr.1 in sport is often a funny thing and to wish him bad luck and see it happen can help drying the tears if the own team didn't had any luck.

As a good host we are also happy to support you here and helped you with that wish. :)
Although we really would have prefered to win the trophy.

For most of the Germans it is a bit complicated to find their own rival Nr.1 country because we feel and see that many other european countries consider us as the nr.1 team they don't like to see winning.

We seem to be rival Nr.1 or at least Nr.2 for:
Netherland
England
Italy
Poland
French
Austria
Swiss (probably French is Nr.1 there)

Many fans from these countries consider a win over Germany as one of the most important think during a tournament.

And that makes it complicated for us to focus only on 1 Rival Nr.1 because you want to be nice and give back some bad wishes in return.

Thats why we have to share our bad wishes and hopes around many countries and can't focus only on 1.


But overall I think it is/was a great tournament and I must admit if it's come to singing football fans...England is still Nr1
But we are closing the gap.

Maybe the next time when I come to England and drink some beers in a pub it won't happy everytime again that people want to start arguing or fight with me only because of WW2.

Yes I am a German and therefore I can understand why they pick on me when they find our where I am from but hey I have a dark skin as my mother is from the caribeean.
Please stop calling even a dark skin guy a NAZI only because he is from Germany.

Regards and see you in Swiss

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