Tag: Germany

Euro 2012: Germany 2-1 Netherlands

There are some football matches which transcend mere rivalry and tap into something more deep-seated, as if they tickle a synapse that we may even think that we have evolved away from. Few of these occur in international football, but when they do, they arrive with a force of personality that is almost overwhelming. The story of the Netherlands versus Germany isn’t just a tale of footballing rivalry, though. It’s a story of national identity, perceived injustice, what might have been and occasional bouts of appalling behaviour and violence, and almost forty years after arguably its defining moment, remains a brightly burning flame. To understand the rivalry between the Netherlands and Germany is to pass well beyond sport and into something considerably more fundamental about human nature. In 1974, West Germany came from behind to win in the Olympic Stadium. Fourteen years later, the Dutch got their when a Marco Van Basten goal two minutes from time won a European Championship semi-final in Hamburg. Since then there has been toing and froing but this summer saw the two sides drawn together in the group stages of the European Championships with both sides near the pinnacle of the international game, yet something isn’t right in the Dutch camp. Familiar rumours – whether with foundation or not – surfaced of disagreements within the Dutch squad, whilst on Saturday afternoon they looked...

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Euro 2012: Germany 1-0 Portugal

It is a reflection of the curve ball that was thrown into Group B of this summers European Championships that, whilst Portugal may have left the pitch at the end of last nights match against Germany disappointed at having failed to collect a point from their endeavours, they’ll probably feel considerably more confident than they were at the start of the day of qualifying from their group. The big result for Portugal came earlier on, when Denmark beat the Netherlands. If we work to the assumption that Portugal were not widely expected to get a result from their opening match, then the consolation of knowing that both Denmark and the Netherlands still have to play Germany while they don’t. None of this is to say that there won’t be a sense of lingering disappointment in Portugal at a result that slipped through their fingers. After all, they had chances. With the clock ticking towards half-time and the score goalless, a shot from Pepe from twelve yards out cannoned down off the underside of the crossbar onto the goal-line but bounced – from a German perspective at least – away to safety. The television broadcasters, of course, showed the replay from every conceivable angle, but there was no controversy to be had here. A little bad luck, perhaps, but there was no questioning the fact that the ball didn’t cross...

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Euro Moments: Germany

This mornings cartoon for the run-up to the European Championships from Dotmund features Germany, and the highly hirsute Gerd Muller. Don’t forget, you can see plenty more Dotmund artwork here, and you can read his trenchant opinions on just about everything here. You can download the Twohundredpercent Euro 2012 spreadsheet here (for Excel 2007), whilst a version that will be compatible with older versions of Excel is available here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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Euro 2012: The Runners & Riders – Germany

It is now sixteen years since Germany last won a major international tournament. This (perhaps surprisingly long) period of time hasn’t been without its fair share of pain, but to suggest that this is some sort of drought when when they’ve reached the World Cup final, the World Cup semi-final and the European Championship final in those intervening years would be something of a push. More interestingly, the image of the German national team has been overhauled in recent years. If the old image of the team was built upon the joyless performances of West Germany at the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain and could be visualised as the seemingly perpetually growling face of Harald Schumacher, its replacement was perhaps best demonstrated by two fluid and flexible thrashings handed out in successive matches to England and Argentina in the World Cup finals two years ago.  This German national team – fallible and invigorating, capable in equal measures of outstanding brilliance and handing out doses of both agony and ecstasy to its supporters – is possibly the most eagerly anticipated of all sixteen competitors at this summers tournament. The History: With three World Cups and three European Championships under its belt, it rather feels as if the story of the West German and post-war German national teams has no great need to be told. What is perhaps notable is...

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European Championship Stories: 1972 – West Germany’s Spring Of Absolute Contentment

At the Heysel Stadium in Brussels on the eighteenth of June 1972, West Germany lifted their first major tournament trophy since the 1954 World Cup. Two years later, at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, they lifted the World Cup. Yet it is sometimes said that the team of 1972 is more fondly remembered than the team of two years later, and it is certainly fair to say that the road to these twin victories was not without its problems. For most people under the age of fifty, West Germany and Germany has been a footballing powerhouse at both club and international level, but the introduction of any degree of professional football to the country was relatively late to the country. By the beginning of the 1960s, West Germany still had no single, professional league – rather, the country’s leagues consisted of five regional Oberligen (Premier Leagues) – but clamours for a more unified set-up would intensify with a disappointing performance in the World Cup finals at the start of the new decade. The story of post-war German football begins, of course, with The Miracle Of Bern. West Germany had lost by eight goals to three against Hungary in the group stages of the 1954 World Cup finals, but battled their way through to the finals and, with the good luck of seeing Hungary start the match with an injured Ferenc...

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