The eighth-finals of the European Championship bring one hit of world football: on Tuesday night, England and Germany will meet at Wembley. Many great matches were played by these two national teams, they have an almost identical balance of mutual meetings, there is almost never a clear favorite.
Except when it comes to penalties ... Legendary German ace Lothar Matthaus, in a conversation with the Guardian, provoked the English by reminding them how the last two matches of these two national teams in big competitions ended, when the winner was decided by penalties.
In Italy in 1990 at the World Cup, the Panthers celebrated from the penalty spot in the semifinals, just like six years later at the European Championship in England, when the tragic was the current Albion coach Gareth Southgate.
"We are always good when it comes to penalties. There is also a joke about that between German and English fans. But, if there are penalties, we will really be the favorites, because then the players will start thinking about what happened 30-40 years ago."
"When we decided on penalties in 1990 and 1996, there was a lot of pressure on the players of England, because they read stories about penalties in the newspapers every day." "So it is now. England has a chance to win the match in 90 or 120 minutes, but if the decision is made from the penalty spot, Germany will be the favorite," Matthaus said.
The match at the World Cup in Italy in 1990 remained in the memory of older England fans because they believed that Albion was on the right path to winning the title. But, Germany with Matthaus as the captain took the trophy.
"Before the start of the championship, we knew we were good enough to win the tournament. And then we showed it on the field. The toughest match was against England in the semi-finals." "They had a fantastic team, which played better and better as the championship progressed.
We fought fiercely for the finals and I congratulate the English on their performance in that game, "Lothar commented on the game from 31 years ago.
Matthaus is not an optimist
However, when it comes to this current generation of Germany, it seems that Lothar is not a particularly great optimist.
"I don't have the feeling that Low is doing a good job, as I had in 2014 when we won the World Cup. He is constantly making some changes, changing players, changing the game system." "Joshua Kimich played in four positions in three games.
Nobody feels safe in the team anymore, there is no self-confidence when something is constantly tumbling." On the other hand, Matthaus appreciates the English national team. "I don't think there is any reason for pessimism in England."
"England has a bright future. They played in the semifinals of the World Cup three years ago, they have fantastic players who play for the best clubs in the country." "They have won numerous trophies with clubs, so they are full of confidence. I respect this team, if they play to the maximum, they can beat Germany ", assessed Mateus.