London (AFP) – England’s rivalry with Germany will be rekindled on Tuesday in a blockbuster Euro 2020 last-16 clash at Wembley.
The greatest day in the Three Lions’ history came against West Germany at the same stadium in 1966 but since then England have never beaten the four-time world champions at a major tournament.
AFP Sport looks at five classic clashes that fostered a historic rivalry.
1966 – England 4 West Germany 2
England are aiming to end 55 years of hurt without winning a major tournament on July 11.
Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick in 1966 is part of football folklore in his homeland but not so fondly remembered in Germany due to controversy over the crucial third England goal.
After 90 minutes the sides were level at 2-2 thanks to Wolfgang Weber’s last-minute equaliser for the Germans.
Hurst’s second goal came when his shot bounced down off the underside of the bar and Tofiq Bahramov, a linesman from Azerbaijan, awarded the goal.
Hurst completed his hat-trick in the final minute of extra-time with a strike remembered for Kenneth Wolstenholme’s iconic BBC TV commentary.
“Some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over,” cried Wolstenholme. “It is now, it’s four!”
1970 – England 2 West Germany 3
Germany got their revenge four years later as they came from behind to outlast the world champions in the searing Mexican heat.
Alan Mullery and Martin Peters put England 2-0 in front but, inspired by Franz Beckenbauer’s strike to half the deficit, the Germans levelled late on through Uwe Seeler’s header.
Gerd Mueller thrashed home the winner in extra-time.
1990 – England 1 West Germany 1 – West Germany win 4-3 on penalties
England’s painful relationship with penalty shootouts began at Italia 90 when Bobby Robson’s men got to within touching distance of the World Cup final for just the second time.
Gary Lineker cancelled out Andreas Brehme’s deflected free-kick to take the game to spot-kicks in Turin.
But Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle became the first in a long line of England players to become synonomous with missing penalties while the Germans were flawless as they went on to win the World Cup for a third time.
1996 – England 1 Germany 1 – Germany win 6-5 on penalties
Six years later on home soil, England suffered the same result from the spot with current manager Gareth Southgate the only man to miss as again the Germans progressed to a final they would win.
The Three Lions were riding the crest of a wave coming into the last four.
“Football’s Coming Home” was the soundtrack to the summer as England saw off Scotland, the Netherlands and Spain to reach the European Championship semi-finals.
Alan Shearer opened the scoring early to cement his status as the tournament’s top-scorer before Stefan Kuntz quickly levelled.
Chances came and went for both sides in a tense 120 minutes, but it was Southgate who was the fall guy when his spot-kick was saved by Andreas Koepke.
2010 – Germany 4 England 1
Germany got their revenge for Hurst’s controversial 1966 goal in South Africa in 2010.
Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski put Germany 2-0 up as Germany made a blistering start in Bloemfontein but Matthew Upson pulled a goal back.
Frank Lampard’s shot then struck the underside of the bar and clearly bounced over the line.
But in the days prior to goalline technology, the officials waved play on.
Germany’s youthful generation, who would go on to win the World Cup four years later, cut loose after the break, with Thomas Mueller scoring twice.
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