The 2018 World Cup in Russia will be here soon and as we get closer to the tournament, there are always classic matches between rivals brought up from past World Cups.
One of the best World Cup rivalries involves Germany and England and the two foes have played each other four times in the FIFA World Cup.
The first meeting was at the 1966 World Cup final that was played at Wembley Stadium in London.
With the score tied 2-2 in extra time, Geoff Hurst’s shot inside the penalty area hit the cross bar, bounced down, and was headed out to safety by the German defense.
World Cup 1966: Geoff Hurst’s Controversial Goal
The English players claimed the ball crossed the line. Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst had a quick conference with Soviet linesman Tofiq Bahramov.
The goal was awarded to England as they took a 3-2 lead and the Germans protested in vain.
Hurst went on to complete his hat-trick as England won 4-2 and lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy. The controversial goal from Hurst killed off any confidence left in the Germans.
To this day, Geoff Hurst’s goal continues to be debated. But we all know that saying “what goes around comes around”.
Fast forward to the second round of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Germany got off to a 2-0 lead against England.
Matthew Upson cut the lead to 2-1 late in the first half and minutes later a long shot from Frank Lampard beat German keeper Manuel Neuer, hit the cross bar, and bounced over the line.
The German defenders cleared the ball and play continued. The English players couldn’t believe it.
Replays showed that the ball crossed the line. It wasn’t even a debate.
World Cup 2010: Frank Lampard Disallowed Goal vs. Germany
I have seen replays of Geoff Hurst’s controversial goal many times and the replay from the side view has shown me that the ball did NOT cross the line.
But Lampard’s disallowed goal in 2010 is not even questionable.
The roles were reversed from 1966 and the English players had the fight taken out of them and were beaten 4-1 by Germany.
It isn’t a shock that many English fans are still upset about the disallowed goal, but former German defender Franz Beckenbauer was quick to say that it was payback from 1966.
The disallowed goal also brought up the issue of video replay technology, but talking about the shortcomings of FIFA is another discussion in itself.
Online bookmaker William Hill has the latest special bets for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The current odds are 7/2 for Germany to eliminate England in the Quarterfinals.
If Germany finishes first in the group of death, and England finishes second behind group favorites Belgium, and both teams win their prospective second round matches, we will see another meeting between these fierce World Cup rivals.
Assuming all goes to plan, I obviously would pick Germany to win. But when it comes to rivalries, you throw the odds and statistics out the window.