Gareth Southgate thanks fans ahead of Euro 2020 final
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Gareth Southgate has been blasted in German media for his comments ahead of the Euro 2020 final. The England boss tried to rally the country by recalling previous times we have all stood together as one as the football team attempt to end 55 years of hurt.
“I think there are historic things that we should be proud of,” Southgate said on Friday.
“There are different aspects to it, but at heart I go back to the values that my parents gave me and treating people as you would want to be treated, and just respectful really.
“But also people have tried to invade us and we’ve had the courage to hold that back. You can’t hide that some of the energy in the stadium against Germany was because of that. I never mentioned that to the players, but I know that’s part of what that story was.
“We have so many things here that we should be proud of that we probably underestimate, that maybe if we were living in other countries we always see what’s good about them, but we are always looking at the negatives of our own country.
“Yet we have got so much to be proud of. For an island our size, we’ve got an incredible influence on the world and we’ve got to keep that in a positive way.”
England knocked Germany out of Euro 2020 with a 2-0 victory in the last-16. Southgate’s side take on Italy at Wembley tonight (8pm KO).
However, Germany’s biggest newspaper Bild has issued a defiant response to Southgate’s comments and accused the 50-year-old of watching too many Winston Churchill movies.
“It is correct: Nazi Germany unleashed an air battle over England in 1940/41 and wanted to bomb the island to surrender,” the penned.
“The iron will of Prime Minister Winston Churchill not only saved his own country, but also helped to liberate Europe from Nazi criminals.
“He was rightly voted the greatest Brit of all time on a TV show a few years ago. As a reminder, Mister Southgate: Churchill’s enemies were Hitler and Goring – not Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer.
“Hardly any of the spectators at the round of 16 at Wembley Stadium saw the end of the war 76 years ago.
“The English press, which used to like to get the old ghosts out of the box, has long since let it go. They last appeared at the European Championship in 1996, when the English superstar Paul Gascoigne was shown wearing a steel helmet. Next to the headline: ‘Caution, surrender’, ‘Caution, surrender’.
“After a storm of indignation in England, the world war is no longer a story in football. Since then, ‘wars’ have only been waged with towels on Mallorca.”
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