It may have been 44 years ago that the Germans lost to England in a World Cup final that included an England goal that didn't look like it crossed the line. So when Germany beat England, 4-1, on Sunday as England was denied a goal that did cross the line, Germany's largest circulation daily, Bild Zeitung, ran a banner headline that read "Thank You, God of Soccer!" next to photos of the two controversial goals.
Bild followed with: "The curse of Wembley has at last been broken. This time England had a goal stolen. ... Wembley was annulled yesterday. Dear people of England, now you know how we felt the whole time. Angry over so much injustice, robbed of the title ... We admit unreservedly: It was a goal yesterday, you were cheated. But now you must confess that Wembley wasn't a goal either. Dear people of England, let us draw a line under this together. And look forward to great encounters between our teams in the future."
Die Welt, in a front-page editorial explained why the current German team is more endearing than its predecessors: "In the history of German soccer, there have been many successes but they were expected, hard-fought and enforced. Achieved with limited skills, with accomplished destroyers who made life difficult for the star opponents, with iron feet, iron calves and an iron will. Often our national team was strangely alien to us. We wanted to love them, but were unable to. They often found their way into the semifinals and finals, but rarely into the hearts of the fans.
"Germany is attached to [this] team ... Our national team can play soccer. Fast, lively, surprising. They can win without destroying their opponents. And they can lose -- with their heads held high, with decency, style and taste. With this team, we're no longer the cold, merciless soccer power."