Low embraces 'captivating' England-Germany rivalry ahead of Euro 2020 meeting

By Sports Desk June 28, 2021

Germany head coach Joachim Low is embracing the "captivating" history between his side and England ahead of their blockbuster Euro 2020 last-16 showdown at Wembley on Tuesday.

Low's Die Mannschaft have won the past four encounters against England in knockout matches at major tournaments, although the Three Lions beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.

This will be the 13th meeting between England and Germany at Wembley. England won four of the first five such games (L1), including the 1966 World Cup final, but are winless in their previous seven against Germany at the national stadium (D2 L5).

Low was in charge when German defeated England 4-1 at the 2010 World Cup in the round of 16, while current England manager Gareth Southgate missed a penalty as the Three Lions lost 6-5 in a shoot-out at Wembley in the Euro 1996 semi-finals.

"I think all the matches between England and Germany you talk about for years after," Low said. "This is a fixture that captivates everyone. It's an all-or-nothing game for both teams.

"The excitement goes without saying I can feel the players are highly motivated and we have analysed the English side.

"We are looking forward to this great encounter and a great evening ahead."

Low has led Germany since 2006, winning the 2014 World Cup, and will finish up his tenure at the end of Euro 2020, yet he said he has barely thought about the England match being his last in charge.

"All in all I thought about it two seconds," Low said. "I don't think about it because I have so many other thoughts in my head.

"This is my passion. My whole focus is on the match tomorrow night and I hope we will succeed."

Low has a few selection headaches with injury concerns over Antonio Rudiger, Robin Gosens and Ilkay Gundogan, although he said the final decision will be made on the day of the match.

The Germany boss was also full of praise for England, including Premier League Golden Boot winner Harry Kane – who has had an underwhelming Euro 2020 campaign with no goals.

"Of course we have to be focused," Low said. "Look at Harry Kane and the level that he plays. He can score goals out of every situation.

"This is his skills, his qualities. He has all of them. He is both footed, he is very good in the air. He can protect the ball very well.

"But England also has [Raheem] Sterling, [Phil] Foden, Mason Mount maybe. They have a lot of strong offensive players, attacking players with [Jadon] Sancho as well and [Marcus] Rashford."

Germany have reached at least the semi-final in each of the last three editions of the European Championship. Indeed, since the tournament was expanded in 1996, they have reached at least the last four of the competition each time they have progressed to the knockout stages.

Die Mannschaft have conceded at least once in each of their previous eight matches at major tournaments (Euros and World Cup), since a 3-0 win against Slovakia at this stage of Euro 2016. Only once have had they had a longer run without a major tournament clean sheet, which was in their first nine World Cup matches between 1934 and 1954.

Related items

  • Cardinals coach Kingsbury deflects Oklahoma job speculation, provides Murray update Cardinals coach Kingsbury deflects Oklahoma job speculation, provides Murray update

    Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury deflected speculation linking him to the University of Oklahoma job, while he is hopeful of Kyler Murray's return.

    The Oklahoma Sooners are reportedly targeting Kingsbury for their vacant coaching position, though the Cardinals coach is contracted through 2022, with a team option for 2023.

    Kingsbury was asked about the rumours as the high-flying Cardinals prepare for Sunday's NFL matchup against the Chicago Bears.

    "I don't get into those things," Kingsbury told reporters on Monday.

    "My sole focus the last couple weeks has been the Chicago Bears and, after watching them on Thanksgiving, it needs to be, because they're a really good football team and had a big win, and so that's where my focus has been."

    The Cardinals lead the NFC and Kingsbury – who was appointed in 2019 – added: "We're in-season, we're 9-2, Just not a topic I want to touch on right now."

    Star Cardinals quarterback Murray has missed the team's last three games due to an ankle injury.

    Murray leads the NFL in completion percentage (72.7) and passer rating (110.4), while he has thrown for 2,276 yards and 17 touchdowns.

    "I am hopeful," Kingsbury said of Murray and DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring).

    "I will leave it at that at this point because I want to see them move around, practice full speed, and see where they are at, and where their comfort level and their confidence is."

  • Inter's Marotta dismisses interest in Fiorentina star Vlahovic Inter's Marotta dismisses interest in Fiorentina star Vlahovic

    Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta downplayed interest in Dusan Vlahovic as clubs reportedly queue up to sign the Fiorentina star.

    Vlahovic is set to leave Fiorentina after opting against signing a new deal in Florence, with the Serbia international's current contract expiring in June 2023.

    The 21-year-old has been linked to Serie A champions Inter, Juventus, Premier League holders Manchester City, Manchester United, Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich, LaLiga titleholders Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal.

    Marotta was asked about Inter's rumoured interest in the in-demand forward.

    "He is a talent, I know there is a conflictual situation with Fiorentina, but I hope they can solve their issues," Marotta said.

    "However, we have a good mix of young and experienced players in that department."

    Vlahovic has 28 Serie A goals in 2021 – no Fiorentina player has ever scored so many goals in a calendar year in the Italian top flight.

    Only Bayern talisman Robert Lewandowski has netted more in the top five European leagues this year.

    Vlahovic is also the third Fiorentina player to score at least 11 goals in the season's opening 14 Serie A matches since 2000.

  • Ballon d'Or: Lionel Messi unsure if his record haul can be beaten after seventh crown Ballon d'Or: Lionel Messi unsure if his record haul can be beaten after seventh crown

    Lionel Messi is not sure if his record will be broken after the Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina superstar won a seventh Ballon d'Or on Monday.

    Messi claimed the coveted award for a record-extending seventh time during a ceremony in Paris, while Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski won the inaugural Striker of the Year award and finished second in the Ballon d'Or voting.

    Many had backed Lewandowski to take home the prized individual honour, after France Football's 2020 Ballon d'Or was scrapped due to COVID-19 – the Bayern forward has scored 53 goals in 42 appearances in 2021, the most of any player in Europe's top five leagues across all competitions.

    But Messi added to his incredible haul after guiding Argentina to a drought-ending triumph at the Copa America – the country's first piece of silverware in 28 years, while he has netted 32 goals and supplied 12 assists across 40 club appearances for Barcelona and PSG this year.

    "I don't know if the record is beatable, I just have to accept it," the 34-year-old Messi told reporters, with Cristiano Ronaldo next on the list after winning the award five times.

    "But honestly, I don't know if this record seven Ballon d'Or's can be beaten. But seven anyhow is really impressive and I'm very happy to win it here in Paris.

    "Concerning [Liverpool star] Mohamed Salah, like [Robert] Lewandowski he will have other opportunities in the years to come. Both players are really at the best at what they've managed so far. They will have other opportunities to win the trophy."

    Messi scored four goals and provided five assists as he led the Albiceleste to their first Copa America title since 1993, involved in nine of the 12 goals scored by Argentina at the showpiece South American tournament.

    "I had a pretty good year with Barcelona without titles, however I did win the Copa del Rey," Argentina's captain and all-time leading scorer Messi added.

    "The Copa America was very important to help me win this Ballon d'Or. And yes, I am very proud to be the first PSG to conquer this Ballon d'Or. It's special to do so with another jersey and it makes me very proud.

    "This trophy really is special. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment with the Argentine national team. It was indeed a special year for me and of course it helped me in this new stage in my life, this move to PSG and my family and kids.

    "I know they enjoy the moment and I enjoy seeing them happy. Seeing my parents, cousins and brothers happy, too."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.