The tie, steeped in decades of history, has sparked memorable moments, tears and more penalties for England fans over the years.
With Germany – the 2014 World Cup winner – gaining the upper hand over their old nemesis in recent times, the rivalry remains very strong in England and it is not lost on German fans either.
Stuart Dykes has dual citizenship and left England for Germany in 1987. As a football fan, who worked in the offices of two Bundesliga clubs, he saw the rivalry from both angles.
“Germany against England stands out from the rest. There will be games that are more important for Germany in the football sense, but not in the whole context, history, meaning.
“England is the home of football, if you will. Wembley is the homeland of football. So it’s a special match for the Germans.
“Even if that said, I think most of them would be calmly confident that they could win as usual. “
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The game that changed football
English fans won’t want to remember the last time their team faced Germany in a competitive game, at the 2010 World Cup.
That match in Bloemfontein, South Africa ended in a 4-1 victory for Germany but, whatever the outcome, the events of that day would change football forever.
The game will always be remembered for Frank Lampard’s “phantom goal” which helped introduce goal-line technology to modern play.
With the game balanced at 2-1, the England midfielder thought he had equalized with a delicious chip on Manuel Neuer. Although the ball bounced off the crossbar and over the line quite clearly enough, the officials of the day did not see it and did not allow the goal.
This sparked outrage in England, forcing the game’s governing bodies to apologize and paving the way for technology in the sport.
At the next World Cup in 2014, FIFA introduced the technology to the goal line. From the 2018 edition, the VAR was in full swing.
“It changed the game for the better,” Lampard previously said of his “goal,” according to Sports Illustrated.
“So I’m delighted with that. It’s a positive move for the game as a whole with the introduction of technology on the goal line. “
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It hasn’t always been pessimistic for England in this game.
The team, led by David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen, clinched a famous 5-1 victory over Germany in a World Cup qualifier in 2001.
There’s also the final World Cup victory over West Germany in 1966 – the last time England won a major tournament.
This match also featured a controversial goal.
On a cross from Alan Ball, Englishman Geoff Hurst controlled the ball and shot high, beating the keeper but hitting the crossbar. The ball bounced back down, making it virtually impossible to tell if it had crossed the line.
Hands on both sides were raised and a few tense minutes followed, with Soviet linesman Tofik Bakhramov of Azerbaijan first denying the goal and then, after consultation with the referee, allowing it. This brought the score to 3-2 with England winning 4-2.
But, in truth, success has been few and far between, and much of England’s grief against Germany has been centered on penalties.
In the 1990 World Cup against West Germany and Euro 1996, England were knocked out of the semi-finals after losing on penalties.
We also remember the 1990 match for the English talisman Paul Gascoigne who shed a tear after receiving a yellow card that would have excluded him from the final – if his team had made it.
As the saying goes: “22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and in the end the Germans always win. ”
Current England manager Gareth Southgate missed the decisive penalty at Wembley in 1996 and England fans will be praying that the game does not return to this stadium on Tuesday.
“It’s a big joke for the German supporters. England are notoriously bad at shooting on goal, ”added Dykes.
“I just saw a headline saying England can beat Germany but not on penalties. So, yeah, I think that’s what’s happening right now.
“I don’t think either team is playing that well, to be honest, and it could come down to that mentality then. And that’s where I think the Germans have the advantage. “
The magic of Wembley
Amid Covid-19 restrictions, 40,000 people will be in the stadium to watch the game live, but Dykes says Wembley is still a magical place for English and German fans.
“Just winning a friendly at Wembley is always a great thing. It’s a shame that there aren’t so many German supporters on the pitch because of the Covid restrictions. Wembley is [the very best] for German football fans, ”he adds.
There are still those, mainly from the English tabloid press, who have sought to find unhealthy links between the footballing rivalry and the political past of the two countries, including the two world wars.
But the majority see him for what he really is: two football powers, talented teams and a history like no other in international football.
“For us, as players, we don’t tend to think too much about history. It is about the here and now. The areas where Germany is good at and the areas we can exploit. What we can do to hurt them, ”said the England player. Jordan Henderson told reporters before Tuesday.
“The things we can do in the game, that’s where all of our energy goes. We don’t get too attached to the story and what happened before. “