Kris Fernandes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is a Toronto based soccer & futsal writer for Inside Soccer Magazine. Deeply immersed in soccer fandom and culture, he has been actively involved in spreading the love of the beautiful game in a uniquely Canadian way for a decade through media coverage, administration and coaching. He covered the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and the 2008 UEFA European Championships from Austria/Switzerland for both CBC Sports Online and ISM.
I Bet The Germans Won’t Make A Jersey About This Game
Back in late 2001, England’s kit manufacturer Umbro and the English FA thought it would be a novel idea, and a nice cash injection, to make a jersey commemorating the 3 Lions’ victory over the Germans in Munich for a World Cup Qualifier match. The number on the back was 10 and the name read OWEN; homage to now injury plagued striker Michael Owen, who scored a hat-trick in the match.
Yes, the rivalry between these teams is well documented, having started after the second World War, then becoming entrenched in 1966 when England won the World Cup on home soil. Every match thereafter between the two is seen as World War lll, at least to the English.
A pair of tunes were created immediately after the game and went on to become big hits on the UK charts. A television station poll listed it as #2 on a programme about the 100 most important sporting moments as voted by the English and Irish, while apparently the father of then German national coach Rudi Voller suffered a heart attack while watching the game.
Pretty wild stuff to come out of it, but a customized jersey for a WCQ game? Really? Well I suppose that given Germany has won 2 World Cups and 3 European Cups since that game in ’66, while the English haven’t made it past a semi-final they needed something to celebrate.
A friend in the English media joked that when a miserable day in rainy ‘ol England rolls around, supporters will hit the supermarket to buy a bootleg copy of the game on DVD to boost spirits.
After the Germans just handidly defeated the English for the 3rd time in 5 matches in World Cup play – the loss in ’66 and a draw in 82 being the other two games – I’d be rather surprised if Adidas or the Deutscher Fussball Bund (The German Soccer Association) made a kit that proclaimed the scoreline with Mueller on the back. There is also no word yet if popular German band Sportfreunde Stiller will race into the studio to rush out a new single.
Now for another 4 years, and perhaps even more, we’ll all have to listen to the often ridiculous British tabloids screaming about the Lampard goal controversy and how it was the sole reason that England were eliminated. Should it have counted? Absolutely. But referees blunder calls all the time. You need not look further than that famous game in ’66 as the ball did NOT conclusively cross the line, yet the reports indicate that the Germans didn’t wimper that long about it.
There cannot be another overhyped, unachieving sports team on the planet whose media and fans cry more than that of the English National Team.
Oh wait, there is that hockey team in Toronto.