England's World Cup rivalry with Germany began back in 1966.
Germany get their 2010 World Cup campaign underway against Australia today, hoping to add to the titles they won in 1954, 1974 and 1990.
During their extensive World Cup history Germany – and formerly West Germany – have played 92 matches, a tournament record they share with Brazil. These include four memorable fixtures against England which have gone on to establish one of the great rivalries in international football.
The two sides’ first World Cup clash could not have had more at stake, coming in the 1966 Final at Wembley. The German’s had won the tournament 12 years earlier, while the Three Lions were on home soil and it proved to be an absolute classic encounter...so much so we don’t really need to expand any further!
They met again four years later in the quarter-finals in Mexico and this time Germany gained their revenge. England looked like they had done enough to get through to the semis when they went 2-0 up but goals from Franz Beckenbauer and Uwe Seeler sent the match into extra-time, where Die Mannschaft
legend Gerd Mueller grabbed the winner.
The next fixture came at Spain ’82 in a Second Round group game. In keeping with the close nature of the previous encounters neither team could break the deadlock and with no extra-time to separate them it finished 0-0.
The most recent World Cup tie came in the semi-finals of Italia ’90 and produced one of the most emotionally harrowing performances in England’s history. Sublime skills, tears and penalties all conspired to create a game of monumental proportions that left the Three Lions and their fans heartbroken.
So England’s record against the Germans stands at W1-L2-D1, with every possibility that the two could meet again in South Africa, this time as early as the Round of 16.
And if they do, we can be sure it will be another classic.