England go into Tuesday’s huge Euro 2020 clash against Germany unfazed and unburdened by defeats in the past.
That’s the message from several England players as they get ready to face their old foes in the last 16 tie at Wembley.
What’s the story?
England topped Group D in qualifying to set up a tie against the runners-up in Group F. That turned out to be Germany, after Joachim Low’s men came from behind to draw 2-2 with Hungary and secure qualification to the next stage.
What’s the background?
Attention has already turned to previous England disappointments in international tournaments at the hands of Germany.
The Germans have a history of breaking English hearts, from the 1990 World Cup semi-final when the Three Lions lost to West Germany on penalties in Turin.
Six years later, it was a similar story in the Euro 96 semi-finals as England bowed out on spot kicks at Wembley, with current manager Gareth Southgate missing the crucial penalty.
In 2000, in Bloomfontein, England finally got the better of their old rivals as Alan Shearer’s header gave them a 1-0 win in their Euros group game.
However, when they next met in the 2010 World Cup round of 16, Frank Lampard’s famous ‘ghost goal’ was part of the story as Fabio Capello’s men crashed out after a humiliating 4-1 defeat.
What’s been said?
Marcus Rashford: “We are being put in a position where we are blessed to be part of that history. Our main focus is to win the game, but if we do it gets put in history. That’s how great teams are remembered for many, many years. There is no point fearing the past. You can’t go back and change it.”
Jordan Henderson: “We’ve got quite a young squad but I think that can be a positive thing. A lot of these lads just go out and play, enjoy the game, play with no fear. And that’s what they need to do again on Tuesday.”
Raheem Sterling: “I’m not really looking into the history, the battles – whatever’s happened in the past has happened. The only thing you can do is be here now and present.”