Beckenbauer's prediction: We'll win a shoot-out again
Franz Beckenbauer has stoked up the atmosphere around England's World Cup last-16 game against Germany tomorrow by claiming that his country will win the tie on penalties as they did 20 years ago when he was manager of West Germany at the 1990 World Cup.
The 64-year-old, who won the World Cup as a player in 1974 and as a manager 16 years later, said that he was sorry for describing the England team as "kick and rush". However, he said that he believed the German team would win on penalties. "For the fans I hope for excitement," he said, "a draw, 1-1 or 2-2 and then penalty kicks. And then Germany wins. Sorry."
Beckenbauer added that he regretted his comments after England's first game against the USA in a column he wrote for a South African newspaper. He said: "I apologise because I like England and I like English football. Maybe it was a reaction because I was disappointed [with England's performances] and maybe in a bad mood.
"Before the World Cup I was convinced England would play a major role in the tournament and maybe win the title. They have a great team and a great coach – Fabio Capello is one of the most experienced coaches – and after their first two games I was so disappointed. In other words, I apologise and I look forward to the game on Sunday."
England are expected to be unchanged for tomorrow's game in Bloemfontein with Matthew Upson retaining his place at centre-back ahead of Jamie Carragher, who was suspended against Slovenia. Ledley King, substituted at half-time of the USA game, is now fit again having originally looked as if he would play no further part in the tournament. Capello is loath to start with King because a potential breakdown reduces his capacity to make changes.
The England goalkeeper David James has hinted that he might take a penalty ahead of some of the outfield players if any shoot-out went beyond the first five into sudden death. James said that there were some out-field players who were "less inclined" to take a spot-kick than him. "I have to understand the preparations for the penalty-taker," he said. "Whoever the keeper is has to be ready. If the situation occurred, there would be certain players who would rather not take penalties. I'm not naming names."
Joe Cole said last night that he would be prepared to be one of the five penalty-takers. He said: "I've never taken one professionally. When I was at West Ham we had Paolo Di Canio who always took them. At Chelsea it's Frank [Lampard] and with England it was [David] Beckham. So I've never taken one. That's not to say I wouldn't. You have to be more of a man and step up and take one. But I don't think it will be a surprise who the first five would be. You look at [Gareth] Barry, Lampard, Gerrard and [Wayne] Rooney. If he then looks at me, I'd say 'Yes'."
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
Gaël Clichy: Roberto Mancini must take share of blame for dismissal
Sergio Garcia apologises for 'fried chicken' remark aimed towards Tiger Woods
Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
Phil Neville in frame for role at Stoke City
Andy Carroll stalls on £15m move to West Ham in hope Newcastle step in
- 1 Terror at Woolwich barracks: Attacker tried to behead and disembowel British soldier
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.