Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Egypt, Morocco lose first World cup matches conceding last minute goals

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Macron likes his china fancy

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

World Cup: And in the end, Putin wins?; Trump hits back at critics; Migrant crisis divides EU governments

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The Jewish community's place in French society

Read more

#TECH 24

Football and tech: The data game is on!

Read more

ENCORE!

John Cameron Mitchell on his new film 'How to Talk to Girls at Parties'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Iran's water crisis

Read more

FOCUS

Residents of southern Lebanon live in fear of another war

Read more

#THE 51%

Turning pain into hope: Rwanda's children of rape

Read more

Sports

England take on German nemesis in football classic

Text by Benjamin DODMAN

Latest update : 2010-06-27

Old foes England and Germany will revive one of football’s greatest –and most one-sided– rivalries on Sunday when they battle for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

England hopes to chase away the ghosts of past football failures on Sunday as they take on dreaded rivals Germany in a knockout match at Bloemfontein.

Despite their poor run of form in the tournament so far, Fabio Capello’s men enter the contest bearing the uncomfortable tag of favourites.

England have the bigger stars, and they have more of them. They also have bucket loads of experience relative to a German team with an average age of 25.

Yet, despite the bombast back home and the players’ confident talk, England fans cannot help harbouring a sense of fear.

Past record suggests they have every reason to: Time and again, Germany have stamped out England’s ambitions with ruthless efficiency, while their list of achievements in competitive games dwarfs England’s hugely over-hyped record.

44 years of hurt

Since lifting their only World Cup at Wembley in 1966, England have reached the semi-finals of a major tournament only twice, at the 1990 World Cup and on home turf during the 1996 European championship. Both times they faced Germany and both times it ended in tears.

The fact that both defeats came on penalties –a  trial where nerves count more than ball skills– illustrates how much of a mental hold Germany enjoy over their rivals.

No wonder Capello has urged his players not to look to the past. More practically, he has also got them practicing penalty kicks.

No sooner had England been paired with Germany than the English press was serving out reassuring reports of regular practice at penalty-taking in the England camp.

This time, there will be no England players stepping up to take a career-first penalty – as was the (ill-fated) case with David Batty in the 1998 defeat to Argentina.

Date created : 2010-06-27

  • WORLD CUP

    USA and England go through to next round

    Read more

COMMENT(S)