BERLIN, June 28 (Xinhua) — Will it be a duel on eye-level or an eternal football battle between two arch rivals?
No matter how fans see Tuesday’s last 16 Euro 2020 encounter in London between England and Germany, they can hardly find a game keeping supporters’ minds in both countries busier.
Losing for Germany not only means to again early exit a major after the disastrous 2018 World Cup, but the end of the 15-year-long era of national coach Joachim Loew. The 61-year-old is departing after the Euro 2020.
Loew’s counterpart Gareth Southgate might face his second significant setback at Wembley after he missed the decisive penalty shot at the Euro 1996 in the Three Lions shirt.
While England can count on the support of most fans (only 2000 of the 45,000 will be German supporters), there are several reasons why Germany is likely to beat its old rival.
There are numerous myths around one of football’s most famous arenas when it comes to Germany.
Since 1975 Germany lost none of its eight games at Wembley (old and new arena). Next to seven encounters against England, “Die Mannschaft” successfully played the Euro 1996 final against the Czech Republic.
Thomas Mueller and his Bayern teammates won the 2013 Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund in the London arena.
“Wembley? Many of us have good memories. This might not have too much effect on Tuesday’s game, but it’s a common thing in football to hold on to a nice memory,” the Bayern striker said.
Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Antonio Ruediger play for Chelsea while Ilkay Guendogan (Citizens), second keeper Bernd Leno (Arsenal), and Robin Koch (Leeds) complete the group of England employees.
Youngster Jamal Musiala went through his education in England (Southampton/Chelsea) and several times played at Wembley.
Losing on penalties to Germany comes near a trauma for the Three Lions. England lost six of its eight shootouts at majors.
The names of the 12 players having missed the decisive shot are part of reports ahead of every big tournament.
National coach Southgate is one of them as he missed his shot in the 1996 semifinal at Wembley (4-3 Germany).
Against Germany, England twice lost on penalties: In the 1990 World Cup semifinal in Italy and on home soil at Wembley in the Euro 1996 semifinal.
The team’s line-up taking the 1966 World Cup is as familiar as the names of the unfortunate 12.
While coach Loew is puzzling over his line-up, fans and media pledge for the 26-year-old Bayern midfielder to cover the job next to Real star Toni Kroos in midfield.
Goretzka’s goal helped Germany achieve a lucky 2-2 draw against Hungary in Group F, securing the team’s last 16 participation.
While Ilkay Guendogan (Citizens) and Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea) returned to full training this Monday after injuries, Goretzka is seen as one of the best box-to-box performers next to his robust game approach.
Selected only shortly before the tournament start, the Bayern striker developed into the caring father and game conductor after a break of two years in the German shirt.
The 105 capped quickly turned into the team’s leading and pushing force despite not scoring a goal at a Euro in his career so far.
Teammates call Mueller the man to follow.