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Sunday, 2 September, 2001, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
German press praises England
Hamann, Ballack and Deisler reflect on defeat
The German team is roundly abused by the papers
Germany's press has captured the nation's state of shock as its team's 5-1 defeat by England begins to sink in.

Whether you pick up a paper in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Nuremberg or Cologne, the verdict across the entire country is the same: "We were humiliated!"


A deeply sad day for German football

Bild newspaper
The headline in Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung sums up the mood: "England demolish Germany". The paper describes the defeat by England as "depressing" and the German team comes in for heavy criticism.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung asks why the players were so unsure of themselves.

"Instead of running out full of confidence, with their chests puffed up... our men gave the impression of being nervous and afraid", it says.

The paper does not single out any individual for criticism. They were all weak, it says, and displayed an "incomprehensible reluctance to tackle".

The mass-circulation tabloid Bild is less restrained. "We got a good thrashing", it moans, "and no-one put up any defence."

Owen gets round Worms' tackle
Owen's performance for England is widely praised
It continues: "Munich 2001 will take its place amongst the unforgettable games between Germany and England - such as Wembley in 1966 or Leon in 1970.

"But this classic match had an extremely bitter end for us."

Bild cannot understand why the German defence was so weak.

"Our defenders let Beckham and Gerrard have too much space", it complains. "This was a deeply sad day for German football."

Cologne's Express tabloid headlines its report: "The English humiliate the German eleven."

The paper delves into the history books and reports that Saturday's defeat was "the worst at home for 70 years".

The previous shocker was on 24 May 1931, it says, when Germany lost 6-0 to Austria.

The verdict on the current team is harsh. "Our defence was at times completely out-taxed by Owen and Co," it says.


The excellent Beckham and Owen made a fool of our desolate defence again and again

Express
"The midfield looked as if it had been taken ill... and even Germany's footballer of the year, goalie Oliver Kahn, gave the impression of being a completely unsafe pair of hands."

Express is in no mood to leave it there.

"The English made the German team look ridiculous," it continues. "The excellent Beckham and Owen made a fool of our desolate defence again and again."

Germany's top football magazine Kicker accuses the tacticians on the German side of having "no plan and no ideas".

The Germans did not use the wings enough, it says. "Our game was concentrated too much in midfield... where Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand had built up an impenetrable barrier."

Rehmer fails to stop Owen scoring his third
The German players are accused of being slow and weak
Berlin's Die Welt uses drastic language in its report: "The goals by Gerrard and Owen shortly before and after half-time broke our team's neck," it says.

The paper also looks at the wider perspective. "It's a defeat that hurts a lot. Everything that manager Rudi Voller has built up so far, seems to have collapsed in these extremely important 90 minutes."

"Collapsed" is also a word used in the headline in Berlin's Tagesspiegel.

Again, there is disbelief at the German weaknesses, and admiration for the English players.

The paper even speculates that "the size of the defeat could have been much bigger but for some good fortune".

Two of Germany's weeklies carry reports on their websites. Hamburg's Stern says Germany have been well and truly "slapped" by the English and called the match "a lesson of historic proportions".

And back in the city where it all happened, Munich's Focus talks of an "historic disgrace". Its headline says it all: "Rudi's boys have a nightmare".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

01 Sep 01 | Football
01 Sep 01 | World Cup 2002
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