Germany braced for 'Debt Derby'


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The Independent Online

There was always likely to be awkwardness about whom the Germans would face in the quarter- finals. Many had

imagined they would play Poland in a city that until 1945 always thought of itself as German. They might have encountered the Russians on 22 June, the anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, the great invasion of the Soviet Union.

Instead, having waltzed through the Group of Death with three straight victories, Joachim Löw's side have run into a game that will become known as the "Debt Derby".

In football terms, the odds may be horribly stacked against them, but the Greeks have not attempted to disguise their glee that, in Gdansk, they will face the nation they hold responsible for the austerity regime that has brought their economy to its knees.

The Greece goalkeeper, Michalis Sifakis, above), remarked that this was an opportunity his team were looking forward to "after the way we have been hacked to pieces".

The Greek press has been even more forthright, directing most of its bile at the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. "So your debtors have made the quarter-finals. I hope you're ready Angela," said Sport Day while Metro Sport commented: "You've given us the IMF, now we'll give your Euro some TNT."