European Press Review: Horribly, Wonderfully German | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.06.2008
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European Press Review: Horribly, Wonderfully German

The international media was torn whether to salute the famous German fighting spirit or rather lament the nation's proverbial luck at major soccer tournaments in the wake of the dramatic 3-2 semi-final win over Turkey.

Germany's Philipp Lahm scores his side's third goal

The consensus was that Germany got lucky

British paper The Sun even managed to squeeze it all into five words.

"How typically, horribly, wonderfully German," The Sun said after Philipp Lahm had rescued the Germans in the final minute of play after Turkey dominated most of the previous 89 minutes, squeezing out a 3-2 semi-final win at Euro 2008.

"Far from their best in fact, a pale shadow of the side that brushed aside Portugal they gave us a lesson in the most important quality. Winning when you are playing badly," said The Sun in its Thursday, June 26 edition. "The German record speaks for itself. Sunday in Vienna will be their ELEVENTH major final since 1966."

German heart breakers

Turkey's Ugur Boral, right, scores the opening goal

Turkey won't be forgotten

The British feel let down by their team, which failed to even qualify for the Euro 2008 this year. The Independent struck a similar line as other the British papers one day after the game, offering grudging admiration for Germany.

"How did Germany do it? The old, time-honored tradition of holding their nerve when it mattered most, by taking their chances however few they were and never being inhibited by the greater flair and ambition of their opponents," said The Independent.

"They wear you down, they make you believe you have a chance and then, when you least expect it, they break your hearts. Typical Germany."

But there was far less admiration in Spain, whose team (or Russia) could be the opponent in Sunday's final.

"Germany's last breath knocks out Turkey. The team of coach (Joachim) Loew conceals its poor football with a lucky goal in the last minute," lamented Spain's El Pais.

La Vanguardia said that "Germany owns the luck" and added: "The sentence from (former England striker) Gary Lineker is still valid that 11 play against 11 in football and the Germans win in the end."

AS named the German team "a machine without a soul" but Marca also conceded that the Turks had ultimately suffered the fate they had inflicted on the others in the previous three Euro games with their late goals.

Kudos for Turkey

Turkish soccer fans react to the semi-final of the Euro

The media felt Turkey deserved to win

"Turkey got to taste its own medicine," said sports daily Marca.

In this area at least there was agreement with England, as the Sun noted that "THIS time it was Turkey who were out-Turkeyed."

In France, L'Equipe said: "Now Germany has its miracle as well. Germany was tormented by courageous Turks, who once again equalized late, before they struck ruthlessly through Lahm in the 90th minute."

For Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport, and many others as well, the final result was not a surprise - only the way it came.

"Germany in the final, Turkey beaten in the 90th minute - The result appeared fixed before the start, but the way it came was unbelievable. The team of (coach Fatih) Terim dominated the first half and was not beaten until a master piece from Lahm in the 90th minute," said La Gazzetta.

Praise was heaped on the injury- and suspension-plagued Turks even though they lost.

"They say that you never remember the beaten semi-finalists but then the beaten semi-finalists so rarely put up a fight like this and in such unpromising circumstances too," said The Independent.

  • Date 26.06.2008
  • Author DW staff / DPA (nda)
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  • Date 26.06.2008
  • Author DW staff / DPA (nda)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink