“Thank you football God,” screamed the headline in Germany’s biggest paper, Bild, following Germany inflicting England’s worst World Cup finals defeat, 4-1 on Sunday, in their round-of-16 match. “After 44 years, the Wembley goal is finally balanced out. Now the English know how we have felt the whole time.”
Many German papers concentrated on the disallowed Frank Lampard strike, which replays showed had clearly crossed the line, claiming revenge for a similar incident in the 1966 World Cup Final, when West Germany felt similarly robbed.
“Sorry,” said Die Welt broadsheet in English. “Now we’re even.”
After Bild wrote its Saturday edition scrupulously avoiding anglicisms on the eve of the game, the papers allowed their English creativity to flow after the game.
“Thank you Fussball-Gott [football God],” wrote Bild on a page with huge photos of the 1966 and 2010 incidents and on the front page: “Jungs [lads], we love you.”
“YES!” exclaimed the Berliner Kurier. “That was the revenge for Wembley. Forty-four years after the final in London, this time it is England crying over a bad refereeing decision.”
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung mocked the “old enemy” with a simple “Sorry England,” whereas Die Welt’s headline ran “Einfach [simply] wonderful.”
The Neues Deutschland was at least somewhat more balanced in its headline of “Germany advances to the quarter-finals against Argentina with good passing football — and a little bit of luck.”
Bild offered an olive branch to English fans who have sworn for 44 years that Geoff Hurst’s goal in 1966 did in fact cross the line by conceding that it was indeed a good decision by the officials after all.
“We admit without doubt that it was definitely a goal. You were robbed, but please, will you now admit as well: the goal at Wembley was NOT a goal. Dear England, let’s bury the hatchet and look forward to massive duels between our two teams in the future,” Bild wrote.