Euro 2020: Last-16 tie against Germany 'very tough test' for England, says Jordan Henderson

Euro 2020: Playing Germany is always a special game - Henderson
Euro 2020 on the BBC
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England midfielder Jordan Henderson says facing Germany in the European Championship last 16 will be a "special game" and is an "exciting" prospect.

England host the three-time European champions in front of about 40,000 spectators at Wembley on Tuesday.

It evokes memories of the Euro 96 semi-final which Germany won on penalties at the home of English football.

"It will be a very tough test. We need to stay focused and have no regrets." Henderson said.

"It's a special game for the players, for the fans - it's a big game and that's what you want to be playing in at these tournaments. It will be a very tough test."

Henderson featured for the first time in the tournament on Tuesday, replacing Declan Rice at half-time in the 1-0 win against the Czech Republic which ensured England finished top of Group D.

Germany twice came from behind against Hungary on Wednesday to progress as Group F runners-up and set up the last-16 tie against Gareth Southgate's side.

"They're still a very good side," Henderson said.

"They have quality all over the pitch. We need to prepare well and give everything."

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The tie will be the fourth time in 31 years England have faced a German side at the knockout stage of a major tournament. On each occasion, England were eliminated.

West Germany prevailed on penalties at the World Cup in Italy in 1990, with Germany then repeating the shootout feat against England on the way to winning the title at Euro 96.

England's World Cup in 2010 was ended by Germany at the last-16 stage.

Phillips the fan and a sing-song with Sheeran

England midfielder Kalvin Phillips said watching Wednesday's group games with team-mates and waiting to learn who they would meet in the next round was "crazy".

"There were loads of different emotions as we didn't know who we were going to play," he told BBC 5 Live.

"To be playing Germany now is exciting."

The Leeds United player, who made his international debut in August 2020 and has gone on to play every minute of the tournament for England so far, admits he has enjoyed Euro 2020 with the eagerness of a fan.

"It's still surreal," he said. "I feel like I'm still a fan and I'm wanting to know after the games who we're playing next.

"It's the same as it's always been, but obviously I'm in a different situation now because I'm actually playing for England.

"To be honest I don't let that get to me. I love football, I love intentional football and love England as well, so I just want to do my best and obviously enjoy myself as much as possible."

Adding to the surreal feel, Phillips said, was having Ed Sheeran give the England squad a private concert their St George's Park training base on Wednesday.

"Harry Kane sorted it out for him to come in, and he did a little sing-song," Phillips said.

And on the set list was a short cover of the football anthem Three Lions by Frank Skinner and David Baddiel.

"He did start playing it and after about 30 second it stopped," said Phillips, who also said it was long enough to have the England players join the chorus.

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