As an Englishman, we’ve indulged in more than our fair share of sporting sparring with our European ‘foes’ from Germany.
Two (printable) phrases you often hear from bitter English soccer fans after a defeat to our European neighbors are:
- ‘Never underestimate the Germans’
- ‘You can’t not be impressed by this German efficiency’ (usually followed by some car geek linking it to their automotive engineering – ‘well, you’ve just got to look at the new Volkswagen’)
More often than not, the English have come off worse – certainly on the big occasions – though there are a few (hollow) highlights which stand out.
Munich, September 2001 … Germany 1, England 5 (2002 World Cup qualifier). Germany reached the World Cup final a year later.
Charleroi, June 2000 … England 1, Germany 0 (Euro 2000 group match). Neither nation emerged from the group stage.
That win in Belgium was England’s first competitive victory over Germany since the World Cup final win at Wembley (against West Germany) in the summer of 1966.
There has been club success against German teams, of course, but not this year. This year belongs to Deutschland in European soccer’s top club competition, the Champions League, highlighted by the all-German final at Wembley on Saturday
(NOTE: Fox will provide hours of content, starting with a pre-game show on Fox Soccer at 11 am MT, a pre-game show at noon on the main Fox network as well as Fox Deportes AND foxsoccer2go.com followed by kick off at 12:45 pm on the same mediums, and ended with a post-game show after the match on Fox Soccer).
And whilst the rest of European soccer’s leading leagues have flirted with financial ruin in the quest for success, German efficiency has produced one of the strongest, secure and successful soccer leagues in the world.
Plus, whereas German soccer had a reputation of being disciplined to the extent that it limited flair, that is no longer the case.
Packed stadiums, realistic ticket prices and a top-quality product, and it’ll be on show for the rest of us to see this weekend.
See points 1 and 2 above.
Of course this is the first all-German Champions League final …
Little stat for you …
Cheapest ticket to watch Bayern Munich - $18
Cheapest ticket to watch Fulham - $36