28 Jun Euro 2020: Gareth Southgate calls on his England players to make history in clash with Germany at Wembley | UK News
England manager Gareth Southgate has called on his players to make history as his side prepare for their Euro 2020 clash with Germany.
More than 40,000 fans will be at Wembley on Tuesday as Joachim Low’s side meet England to compete for a place in the quarter-finals.
Germany have a catalogue of major tournament victories over England to draw on – most recently in the 2010 World Cup when they sauntered to a 4-1 win helped by the decision not to give a Frank Lampard goal which clearly crossed the line.
Die Mannschaft conquered England twice on penalties in the 1990s, beating them at Wembley in the Euro 96 semi-final as Southgate missed a key spot-kick, and in the semi-final of the Italia 90 World Cup.
West Germany also avenged England four years after losing to them in the 1966 World Cup final, clinching an extra-time victory in the quarter-final of Mexico 1970.
But Southgate wants his players to focus on writing their own stories – the same message he gave on the eve of the World Cup last-16 penalty shootout victory against Colombia three years ago.
“I don’t need to demystify it,” Southgate said of the rivalry with Germany. “The history is an irrelevance for them.
“We’ve got boys born into the 2000s, which is obviously scary but it’s the reality of the group we’re dealing with.
“It’s of no consequence to them what we did in, you know, Peter Bonetti in 1970 and what happened in 1990 and so on.
“Of course, they’re watching that stuff and getting a bit of an understanding of it but it’s not something we’re speaking to them about.
“This team have put down lots of historical performances in the last couple of years, made their own history, made their own stories and this is how they should view this game.
“It’s an opportunity. We’ve only won one knockout match in a European Championship as a country, so they’ve got a great chance to go and be the first team since 1996 to do that.”
Southgate played in that Euro 96 quarter-final spot-kick win against Spain at Wembley to earn the semi-final shot against Germany.
The last 16 clash will be England’s biggest match on home soil since then, with the Three Lions boss braced for a tough encounter.
“We have to be good enough to beat Germany and a very good German team,” he told ITV.
“I think they’ve got at least four World Cup winners, innumerable Champions League winners in that team, so although everybody’s dismissing them, very, very experienced big game players.
“We know this is a fixture that could easily have ended up being one far later in the tournament.
“They’ve come through a very strong qualifying group and we’ll have to be at our very best to win the game.”
Tuesday’s game at Wembley kicks off at 5pm – the winner will play either Sweden or Ukraine in the quarter-finals.