By jingo, it’s England vs Germany!

26 Jun

Fighting my divided loyalty between my real home side (England) and my actual home side (Spain), and coming down from Friday’s Iberian victory over Chile, the next few days will be dominated by two matches between four sides with a traditional historical rivalry: Spain vs. Portugal and the tabloid journalist’s (wet) dream… England vs. Germany.

Anyone who has ever attended an English boys’ school cannot fail to recall the chant of “two world wars and one World Cup” (I seem to also recall another about George Best wearing women’s underclothing… although he wasn’t English, so maybe that was the point) and our great British red-tops (not Chris Evans and La Roux, I mean the tabloids) get into a similar jingoistic frenzy, digging up hoary old chestnuts that even Basil Fawlty would balk at.

Even Baddiel, Skinner and Broudie played up to this in a re-working of the Three Lions video a few years ago when the boys in their England tops faced a German team who were all called Kuntz apart from one.

Witness the front page of the Daily Star (the “Official England World Cup Newspaper”) above, where they claim that Private Rooney “will fight the Jerries on the pitches”, probably in a manner not unlike Private Pike in Dad’s Army.

Did they mention that Germany was responsible for the single-handed awfulness that is Scooter (even though they were inspired by Stump to write one of their biggest hits)? Or that Angela Merkel (and Helmut Kohl for that matter) might be a tad overweight (even though both – together – are still about half the size of Chris Moyles)? Or that Claudia Schiffer has no sense of humour? Or that when Kennedy said “Ich bin ein Berliner” he was saying “I am a doughnut”?

Strangely enough the Spanish press have not come up with anything so xenophobic with which to bait their former colonial rivals Portugal, other than telling Cristiano Ronaldo to “watch out”.

So rather than stir up any more international animosity, why don’t you listen to this gem from the 1990 World Cup in Italy by The Real Sounds of Africa, produced by one Norman Cook, basking in the glow of Nº 1 success with Dub Be Good To Me (the first mash-up number one??). The CD single even included a Bonus International Beats mix, all written in the same font as the Beats International hit, but in no way a cash-in. Back then it seemed a bit of a novelty that Africans (not sure which part of the huge continent they were from… give the people at Cherry Red a ring to confirm if you must) knew of Lineker and Van Basten but there you go..

Real Sounds of Africa – Soccer Fan

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