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There are many great rivalries in club football, such as Inter v Milan, Boca Juniors v River Plate, Man United v Liverpool, Rangers v Celtic and Barcelona v Real Madrid to name a few, but nothing quite compares to the rivalry between England and Germany. Whether it would be a friendly or a World Cup match, there is lots of passion from the supporters and the players in every match. The rivalry comes from the two World wars.
The first full international match was in Berlin in 1930, which was a 3-3 draw. One of the most controversial matches was in 1938 in Berlin. Germany was under nazi stranglehold and the England players performed the nazi salute before the game. This was also England last match against Germany before the country was split by the Berlin Wall. England won that game 6-3 and they dominated this fixture from the 30â€™s to the late 60â€™s by winning it seven times in a row.
The World Cup Final in 1966 was between England and West Germany at Wembley Stadium. It was the first time England had played against Germany in a major tournament. It was the perfect final for both fans and neutrals alike and it was also the most controversial World Cup Final of all-time. West Germany took the lead early in the game; Helmut Haller scored after 12 minutes. England replied quickly and Geoff Hurst leveled the score at 1-1. England then took the lead, Martin Peters put England ahead with 78 minutes gone. In the last minute England gave away a free kick, the ball was launched forward and Wolfgang Weber got the final touch to score and take the game into extra-time. The most controversial moment of the match happened 11 minutes into extra-time, Geoff Hurst struck the ball and it hit the crossbar and it bounced back down. The referee awarded the goal but ball did not appear to have crossed the line. The Laws of the game state that â€œthe whole of the ballâ€ has to cross the line. England was winning 3-2 and in the last minute of the game Geoff Hurst scored again, but this goal was also controversial because spectators was on the field when the goal was scored. Geoff Hurst completed his hat-trick and England won the World Cup for the first and so far the only time, but the rivalry soon turned in Germanyâ€™s favor.
Two years after winning the World Cup, England was defeated by West Germany for the first time in an official friendly match in Niedersachsen, Hanover. In 1970 the two sides met again at the World Cup Quarter-Finals in Mexico. The key player that was missing for England was Gordon Banks, he was replaced with Peter Bonetti. England started well and took a 2-0 lead. Alan Mullery and Martin Peters scored the goals. Franz Beckenbauer scored for Germany after 69 minutes and Uwe Seller was not facing the goal when he scored from a header after 76 minutes. Just like in 1966 the match finished 2-2 and it went to extra-tine. Gerd Muller scored the winning goal for Germany in extra time and they had their revenge on England.
England and West Germany were drawn together in the 1972 European Championships in the Quarter-Finals. West Germany dominated the first leg and won it 3-1 at Wembley. That win for West Germany meant it was the first time they ever beat England at Wembley in an official match. After drawing 0-0 in Germany, West Germany went on to win Euro 72 in Belgium and also won the World Cup in 1974.
Another memorable match was at Italia 90. It was the semi-final of the FIFA World Cup and this match is remembered for Gazzaâ€™s tears and also the penalty shoot-out at the end of the match. This was probably Englandâ€™s best team since 1966. West Germany was fortunate to take the lead. Andreas Brehme scored from a free-kick which took a huge deflection to go over Peter Shilton and into the back of the net. Gary Lineker scored the equalizer with ten minutes to go. The match went to extra time for the third time in a World Cup match. Nine minutes into the match Paul Gascoigne was booked for a foul meaning he would have missed the final. Gazza was visibly upset and he was in tears after the booking. Paul Gascoigne
was always remembered for his passion whenever he wore the England shirt. Englandâ€™s manager at the time Sir Bobby Robson once said Gazza was â€œas daft as a brushâ€. England was knocked out of the World Cup after losing the Penalty shoot-out at the end of the game. Stuart Pearce and Chriss Waddle missed the crucial penalties. Soon after the match West Germany defeated Argentina in the controversial Final.
Not long after the World Cup in 1990 Germany was a united team again after the fall of the Berlin wall. England was to meet Germany again in another Semi-Final. It was at Euro 96 at Wembley and the outcome was exactly the same. Alan Shearer scored the first goal after 3 minutes but Stefan Kuntz equalized for Germany after 16 minutes. Again it went into Extra-Time which this time had Golden Goal rule. Both teams come close to winning the game. Stefan Kuntz again headed the ball into the net but fortunately the goal was ruled out for a foul. Paul Gascoigne was inches away from scoring but he couldnâ€™t get to the cross from Shearer in time. The match went to penalties and this time Gareth Southgate missed the crucial penalty and England was out of the tournament. Just like in Italia 90, Germany won the final.
England took revenge against Germany when they beat them 1-0 in Charleroi, Belgium at the Euro 2000 Group Stage thanks to a goal scored by Alan Shearer, however neither team reached the knockout stages of that tournament. In the same year Germany beat England 1-0 in the World Cup Qualifiers at Wembley, the goal was scored by Didi Hamman. It was Englandâ€™s last ever match at Wembley before it was rebuilt and the manager Kevin Keegan resigned after the match. The second World Cup in The Olympic Stadium in Munich was an instant classic. England took Germany apart and won 5-1, Micheal Owen scored a hat-trick in the game and the other two goals was scored by Steven Gerrard and Emile Heskey. It was Englandâ€™s best ever win over Germany.