England and Germany nostalgia overload
In the build-up to England’s meeting with Germany on Tuesday, the English press have, naturally enough, been taking a few trips down memory lane to revisit some of their happier tussles with their old pals. The 1966 World Cup final, need it be said, got quite a few mentions, as did that 5-1 win in Munich 20 years ago.
“Wherever I go in the world, I always bump in to an England fan who will say they know exactly where they were when that game was being played,” Emile Heskey told The Sun. “That just fills you with joy because it’s a memory that everyone cherishes and I was a part of for a whole nation. I did that 20 years ago and 20 years on they’re still chanting my name. It’s not a bad thing!”
As the poor fella was reminded, though, the chant goes like this: “5-1, even Heskey scored!” Mind you, that’s not even as mean as the tune he regularly had sung at him back in the day: “If Emile Heskey can play for England so can I.”
Quote of the day
"He was one of the best players in the Bundesliga for the last two years. If he is not good enough for England, we would like to give him a German passport." Lothar Matthaus at a loss to understand why Herr Jadon Sancho has seen so little game time.
Number of the day
99 - That's the leading percentage in Uefa's current player 'passing accuracy' list. Who's the top man? None other than England's Reece James with 84 passes completed out of 85.
Brozovic has a belly-full
Dejan Lovren on his Croatian team-mate Marcelo Brozovic’s diet: “I don’t know how Brozovic manages to eat as much as he does. Before the World Cup final, he ate two kilos of salami, two croissants and drank a load of Coca-Cola. Then he ran 15km. If I ate as much as him, I would need four days to recover. I asked him how he managed it and he pointed to the sky and replied: ‘Salami, Salami!’”
Daouda Peeters on his Juventus team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo’s diet: “Always the same. Broccoli, chicken and rice. With litres of water, and no Coca-Cola, of course.”
Each to their own.
Word of mouth
"Off the pitch, he annoys me. I think Didier Deschamps can't handle him anymore and he's troublesome. His ego is inordinate, and he's been troublesome since the start of Euro 2020. " Former French international Jerome Rothen with a less than hearty tribute to Kylian Mbappe.
"I haven't said this too often in the past but nothing about Germany scares me - and I'm delighted we're playing them!" Harry Redknapp. They never learn, do they?
"I've watched Italy, they play really well. They attack, they press high up the pitch, and that's nice to see. They don't even seem Italian." The Netherlands' Matthijs de Ligt a bit amazed by the entertainers that Italy have become.
Yaya Toure on the art of using your bum
Yaya Toure, writing in The Athletic, on the importance of the use of the bum in football: “The bum is important as it can create a moment of space between you and another player.
Other wide players use their bums this way, such as Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero, but there is no one better at it than Eden Hazard. It has almost become a joke how big his bum is.”
Considering Eden gets endless grief for being (allegedly) overweight, it’s a compliment he could probably have done without.
More word of mouth
"We didn't even deserve zero points. We witnessed a managerial disaster class." Turkish journalist Mehmet Demirkol on his nation's less than successful Euro 2020 campaign.
"Morata cannot play another minute with the national team. He's not a player who inspires. He makes both fathers and children fall asleep watching him." Spanish TV presenter Josep Pedrerol on Alvaro. At least the mothers stay awake, though.
An unwelcome trip down memory lane
The BBC website was unkind enough to remind its readers earlier this week who former Welsh international Ashley Williams had tipped to win Euro 2020: “My hot take for the tournament is Turkey. Not a lot of people will be expecting them to do well, but they have a good squad and will be right at it.”
And then? They lost all three of their games, ending up with the fifth worst Euro campaign in history. The worst was Denmark’s in 2000 when they not only finished without a point, they didn’t even manage to score a goal.
Joint second, with Bulgaria? Eh, us in 2012 when we lost 3-1 to Croatia, 4-0 to Spain and 2-0 to Italy, only Sean St Ledger’s goal against Croatia saving us from finishing top of that list. Thanks for the memory, Beeb.
Has anybody seen Mehmet Scholl?
The Daily Mail did a ‘where are they now?’ piece on the players who featured in the last Euros meeting between England and Germany, when an Alan Shearer goal decided their 2000 group game. Among those to get a mention was Mehmet Scholl, the former Bayern Munich midfielder.
Other than punditry and playing quite a bit of nine-pin bowling, they weren’t entirely sure what Scholl is doing with himself these days, his coaching career having not worked out.
Which reminded them of Jurgen Klopp’s response when, last year, Scholl criticised Borussia Dortmund’s then caretaker manager Edin Terzic, an old pal of Klopp’s. “He tried it as a coach, he couldn’t do it, and now he’s talking about it as if he had eaten wisdom with spoons.” That was Mehmet told.
More word of mouth (II)
"I consider this to be the most impressive Italy side in history." Giuseppe Bergomi - and as an Italian World Cup-winning legend, he should know.
"Do you know what? I think Roy had a soft spot for me. He actually turned up to my wedding... and he would never turn up to anyone else's wedding. I think because he hated Gary so much - he used to fight with him every day - he saw me as the nice one." Phil Neville hinting at why ITV usually put another pundit sitting between Roy Keane and Phil's brother Gary.