Thursday, July 18, 2024

Britain or Germany – which is better for sausages, pints and scenery?

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The English Premier League has become the world’s top league, eclipsing the German Bundesliga, while German football remains closer to the Scottish model – less expensive, less exclusive, closer to the community that spawned it. In England, football has become much slicker, but a lot of the old terrace culture has been lost along the way.

In Germany, some of that old terrace culture still survives, not only in the stadiums, but in the streets and parks of the host cities. Even if you go to Germany without a ticket, you can still soak up the big match atmosphere in the dedicated fan zones – a concept pioneered at the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and now copied all around the world.

Score

Germany 2 – Britain 4 (18-21 on aggregate)

Final score

A narrow victory for Britain, with three wins, five draws and two defeats – but will Britons also triumph on the pitch, or will Germany have the last laugh? For German fans, a semi-final appearance is the minimum requirement. For Scotland, a place in the knockout rounds would be a personal best. For England to lift the trophy for the first time in Berlin would be sweet revenge for Germany’s triumph at Wembley in 1996.

Maybe then, and only then, we’ll finally forget Gary Lineker’s famous dictum: “Football is a simple game – 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans always win.”

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