Tag: Germany

The 200% World Cup: World Cup Breakfast, Day 5 – Portugal’s Dismal Day

It’s all a matter of the position in which you put yourself. There was much discussion last night of the incident that led to the sending off of Pepe during yesterday’s match between Germany and Portugal, and as with all arguments that take place online, there was never going to be one decisive winner. On the one hand, Robert Muller’s reaction to Pepe’s momentary lapse of reason hardly shows the game in the greatest of lights, but on the other, Pepe has a reputation for allowing his temper to get the better of him, and in any case the reality of the matter is that the ultimate responsibility for Pepe staying on the pitch for the full duration of this match rested with, well, Pepe, ultimately. It would be nice if television broadcasters could spare us the sort of moralising that we had to endure from Adrian Chiles at half-time yesterday afternoon, though. The kerfuffle surrounding Pepe’s dismissal almost overshadowed the torrid hammering that Portugal received at the hands of Germany during the first half of this match. Joao Pereira might have been sent off for the foul on Mario Goetze which led to the penalty from which Muller gave Germany the lead in the first place, but things only went from bad to worse for Portugal as the first half wore on, and by half-time the Germans led...

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The 200% World Cup: Germany vs Portugal – Live!

Tonight marks the beginning of the World Cup group stages for three-time champions Germany, or more specifically West Germany, who have also reached 4 other final appearances. Meanwhile their opponents in Salvador this evening, Portugal, haven’t managed to better their third place finish back in 1966. It’s widely expected that their star man Cristiano Ronaldo, of Real Madrid fame, will start the game after some injury concerns coming into the tournament. He did limp off on Thursday’s training session and it was suspected that his reoccurring knee problems had returned. On the flip side Germany have some concerns over...

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Euro 2012: The Semi-Finals – Germany 1-2 Italy

On the seventeenth of June 1970, Italy and West Germany played out a World Cup semi-final at The Azteca Stadium in Mexico City so epic that earned itself the soubriquet of The Match Of The Century. Perhaps the finest tribute ever paid to an individual football match ever made can be found outside the stadium, a permanent monument to what became known as The Game Of The Century, a 4-3 win for Italy after thirty minutes of extra-time which contained five goals. Pause to consider that – a match so affective that it caused people thousands of miles from the two nations that played it out to mark the fact that it had been played on their home patch. We may never see the likes of it again. This match has set an exceptionally high standards for matches between the two sides, but Italy inflicted a traumatic defeat upon Germany on the semi-final of the 2006 World Cup in Hamburg, and tonight they put in probably the most accomplished performance by any team in this tournament so far in a match which ended with a scoreline that was, if anything, very flattering on a German side that was made to look very ordinary indeed. The headlines tomorrow morning will be written for one man, of course. Mario Balotelli is still two weeks short of his twenty-second birthday, but this...

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Euro 2012: The Quarter-Finals – Germany 4-2 Greece

This evening, as we have been reliably, repeatedly and at great length informed over the last few days, is more than a football match. This evening, apparently, is all about geo-politics and economics. While this not true, of course, the presence of Angela Merkel at the PGE Arena in Gdansk – an appearance which is either saying something quite profound about discretion being the better part of valour or will one day be used in dictionaries alongside the definition of the word “chutzpah”- has added a frisson of tension to a match which otherwise would probably be considered little more than a stroll in the park for Germany. The truth of the matter is that this match is, on paper at least, the biggest mismatch of the quarter-finals. Germany wandered through the group stage with three wins which never saw them truly catch fire but didn’t really see them breaking out of second gear. It rather feels as if they may remain a few degrees short of the boil this evening, too – at least for the first thirty minutes. Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller and Mario Gomez have been replaced by Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus and Miroslav Klose, in a reshuffling of attacking options which some have interpreted as resting players ahead of an inevitable win and a – perhaps – trickier semi-final. Greece, meanwhile, have surprised and upset...

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