Patriotic fervour gripped
England and Germany on Sunday as millions of football fans
prepared to watch their teams take on their age-old rivals in
the second round of the World Cup.
Huge TV audiences were expected in
both nations for the game
and with forecasters predicting the hottest day of the year so
far, open air screenings were predicted to prove popular.
"We have seen already very good TV
figures for the previous
matches both of Germany and of England," said FIFA spokesman
"Certainly the expectations are that for a
match like this one the figures will also be very, very good."
In England, thousands of music lovers will watch the match
on a big screen at the huge open-air Glastonbury Festival, in
southwest England, where organisers have urged fans to don hats
and slap on sunscreen.
Princes William and Harry have passed on messages of support
to England's team, saying the country will be "hugely proud" as
long as the players gave their all.
There was also a wave of
patriotism sweeping Germany on a
brilliant summer day with a myriad of black, red and gold flags
hanging from rooftops, car antennas and windows.
In Berlin, 300,000 are expected at
a public viewing venue.
British Prime Minister David
Cameron said he was hoping to
take time out from the G20 summit in Toronto to watch part of
the match with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
However, such a spirit of
cooperation was lost on a
jingoistic English tabloid press eager to dig up old rivalries,
while some could not resist alluding to the Second World War.
"All out roar!" proclaimed the
News of the World with a
picture of England's top three players snarling like lions,
while the Sunday Mirror taunted "We'll make Roo sorry!".
The Daily Star pictured England
striker Wayne Rooney in a
tin hat with the headline: "We will fight jeering jerries on the
also took up the fight.
"Jubeln, chillen, England grillen," (Celeberate, chill out
and grill England) wrote Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "It's the
first genuine day of summer. Hello summer! Good-bye England."
Pouring salt in the wounds of
England's notoriously poor
performance when World Cup matches go to penalty shoot-outs,
Bild added: "All we have to do is reach penalties."
Bild noted that Germany have won
all four of its World Cup
matches that went to penalties while England had lost its three.
DON'T MENTION THE WAR
However, German interior minister
Thomas de Maiziere said it
was a matter of regret that certain newspapers had felt the need
to refer back to past conflicts when talking about soccer.
"I don't know who needs it, we
definitely don't," he told
the BBC. "This is a thing of the past, doesn't help in the
present and future, and we should just ignore it."
Sunday's clash will mark the third
time in 20 years that
England and Germany have met in the knockout stage of a major
football tournament and fans will be hoping for a turnaround in
the World Cup in 1990 and the European championships
in 1996, England lost out to Germany on penalties in the
claim to be the birthplace of the game, England
have only won the World Cup once, on home soil in 1966, and the
failure of its top players to live up to their billing at
international level has been a source of much soul-searching.
When it comes to the crunch,
England fans are hoping
experience will count over historical statistics. While England
is fielding one of the most experienced sides in the World Cup,
Germany is putting out its youngest squad in 76 years.
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