England-Germany diary

The Sausage Man

One London-based German was always going to be happy, whatever the outcome of the match. David Rundel, aka The Sausage Man, saw a considerable rise in demand for his imported German sausages in anticipation of the England-Germany clash.

‘‘We’ve had huge sales this past week,’’ he said. ‘‘I can count the number of German venues in London on two hands, they’re booked out, so people wanted large quantities of German foods to barbeque at home.’’

Rundel has been importing speciality meats from southern Germany since 2005, and caters for British customers as well as homesick German expats. ‘‘The British like our sausages – we sell them to all nationalities.

‘‘The bratwurst, the traditional sausage made from pork and beef with bacon, is the most popular. My favourite sausage depends on how I feel. After a few beers I like a strong, spicy paprika sausage, and the smoked frankfurters are delicious at any time.’’

Rundel, who took the day off from his sausage business to watch the match, said that he would be supporting Germany. ‘‘It’s my home country, so of course I support Germany.

‘‘I 'm having a little party in my garden, some English friends are coming, so we’ll have a joke about it.’’

Politicians

George Osborne revealed that he watched the match with his German counterparts at the G20 summit in Toronto, Canada.

But just as David Cameron’s joke that he would ‘‘try not to wrestle [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] to the ground during penalties’’ betrayed a note of tension, so Osborne’s display of bonhomie seemed to wear a little thin.

‘‘This will be one area where the G20 don’t agree on the outcome,’’ he said.

World War Two

Germany’s interior minister criticised British tabloids for their jingoistic coverage of the England-Germany match.

Headlines such as the Daily Star’s ‘‘It’s war’’, and ‘‘Roon: I’ll blitz Fritz’’, prompted Thomas de Maiziere, who is also minister for sport, to say: ‘‘I don’t know who needs it, we definitely don’t.

‘‘This is a thing of the past, doesn’t help in the present and future and we should just ignore it.’’

Some England fans in Bloemfontein sang songs about the Second World War before the match. Hendrik Grosse Lefert, a German police officer patrolling outside the grounds, said that although this was ‘‘disturbing’’ and ‘‘annoying’’, it did not have an effect on the relationship between the fans.

‘‘The Germans see it as ridiculous,’’ he said.

Fans

Sweaty palms, a quickened pulse, bitten nails… as stress levels rose across the country at 3pm yesterday, a survey found a quarter of British men feel that watching England play is more stressful than moving house. 15 per cent said it was even more stressful than getting married.

And the tournament is just as likely to tug open fan’s wallets as tug on their heartstrings. Fans will collectively spend £260 million on flowers, meals out and other gifts in an attempt to placate neglected partners during the World Cup, according to a study by Santander.

Glastonbury



Football fans at Glastonbury may have been delighted that they could watch the match on a giant screen – but the musicians on stage at 3pm probably weren’t.

The bands playing to a depleted audience included former Guns n’ Roses axeman Slash, Kinks singer Ray Davis and We Are Scientists.

On the smaller stages, New Orleans rhythm and blues artist Dr John & the Lower 911, singer-songwriter Joel Rafael, contemporary jazz group Portico Quartet, and guitarist Teddy Thompson also competed with the football.

The screen was erected in a designated Football Field, to ensure that Glastonbury-goers didn’t miss out on the game.

And for those with a more active interest in the sport, an interactive ‘‘keepy uppy’’ games, developed by students at Portsmouth university, is also available on Glastonbury’s big screens. Players can see themselves super-imposed on a football pitch, and motion-detectors sense when they have kicked the bouncing ball to stop it falling to the ground.

Octopus

Paul the psychic octopus has maintained his 100 per cent success rate for predicting the outcome of Germany’s matches in South Africa.

On Friday, Paul predicted that Germany would win the match, by choosing a mussel in a box bearing the German flag over a mussel in a box printed with St George’s flag.

The British-born octopus, who now lives in the Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium in Germany, became famous when he correctly predicted that Germany would beat Australia, lose to Serbia, and beat Ghana.

This is not the first football tournament in which Paul has successfully predicted the outcome of matches. A spokeswoman for Sea Life claimed that Paul correctly predicted 80 per cent of Germany’s games during the 2008 European Championship.

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