Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick might have been saying all the right things ahead of his side's Champions League semi-final with Manchester United tonight - but the Bundesliga outfit have been unable to resist poking fun at the Premier League champions-elect and England in general.
A satirical column in the match programme has taken a light-hearted sideswipe at English life, including the perceived obsession with celebrity, its culinary habits and yes, the inability to win penalty shoot-outs against German teams.
"The English are going nuts this week about the wedding - no, not Katie Price this time but Prince William," gushed the column.
"England is the motherland of football of course. But they have still not learned about penalties.
"In Wayne Rooney we have the eternal favourite son-in-law for English mothers and that evergreen youngster Edwin van der Sar, who takes goalkeeping tips from Jens Lehmann. And then there is Malcolm Glazer, who for Manchester United fans is the equivalent of Lord Voldemort."
Almost 2,500 United fans are expected at the first-leg encounter, each with a similar name, according to Schalke.
"The typical Manc man is called Paul. He has darts in his right pocket and in his left pocket has a picture of a bulldog. The girls are called Samantha.
"And can you believe they put vinegar on their chips?"Reuse content