France thrashed Germany’s national soccer team on Saturday night 3-0. The French squad led by star midfielder Zinedine Zidane dominated the match despite the Germans’ home field advantage.
France's Zinedine Zidane celebrates victory over Germany with teammates.
The Germans played a spirited first half in Gelsenkirchen near Dortmund, but were quickly outclassed by a French side including Zidane and number of other leading European club players. The German team, made up of less experienced younger players, were humbled in front of the home crowd of over 50,000.
“I’m speechless, that was a catastrophic match for us. We had planned to do so much. I’m sorry for all the fans,” said Stuttgart’s 21 year-old rising star Andreas Hinkel. “They play together and know where they need to run. We have to learn how to play together and come out as a team. After the 0-2 we just fell apart.”
German national coach Rudi Völler lamented the fact that his team had once again failed to win against one of the so-called great soccer nations. Despite becoming runner-up at the 2002 World Cup, Germany has suffered defeats by Argentina, Brazil, England Italy, the Netherlands and France in recent years.
“After 60 minutes we gave up, we played with same trepidation against France like we did a few years ago. That really bothered me,” said Völler. He also defended German midfielder Michael Ballack, whose performance paled in comparison to Zidane’s. “You can’t compare these two players. Zidane is the magician, Ballack the finisher.”
No hope for Kahn
Building on impressive creative playmaking from Zidane, it only took 21 minutes for French striker Thierry Henry to put the ball past German goalkeeper and captain Oliver Kahn. France’s other star forward David Trezeguet then nailed the coffin shut with two goals in the second half.
Germany's coach Rudi Völler
“Every mistake against such teams will be punished without mercy. However, we knew beforehand that players like Henry, Zidane, Pirez and Trezeguet can never be completely neutralized,” said Völler.
The decisive victory on German soil showed France is gearing up to mount a strong defense of their European championship title next summer in Portugal. The squad of French coach Jacques Santini has now chalked up 13 straight victories, a new national record.
During the match, the French players showed confidence proving they had put the unceremoniously early exit at the last World Cup behind them. Afterwards, they calmly detailed what had unfortunately for Völler and team amounted to walk in the park. “It’s nice to win in Germany. We’re very pleased,” said Zidane.