Germans hail revenge for Wembley, 1966

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The Independent Online

On Germany's biggest "fan mile" – a tree-lined avenue widened by the Nazis that leads up to Berlin's famous landmark the Brandenburg Gate – "God Save the Queen" was drowned out by a cacophony of boos and collective fingers held horizontally aloft by the more than 400,000 Germany fans.

Many were Turks from the city's Kreuzberg district who, in a sign of improving integration, had come wrapped in German flags to watch their Turkish-born hero, the German striker Mesut Ozil. The crowd went berserk at Germany's first goal and the Stimmungsmacher ("mood generating" compere) swung into action singing: "So sehen Siege aus – tra la la la la !" – "This is what victory looks like!" The fans echoed him back, roaring in unison.

But as England's steady humiliation continued, the rowdier elements, emboldened by copious amounts of beer, followed up with purple English vulgarities. So much for Germany's longstanding complaints about insensitive British football war-mongering. Or put another way, after decades of Kraut-bashing in the British media, England was getting a taste of its own medicine.

"With a performance like that, England deserves to get thrashed," is how Frank Nagler, a 32-year-old car mechanic from Berlin's Niederschönhausen district, put it. He described the first-half England goal that wasn't counted even though the ball crossed the goal line as "revenge for Wembley 1966".

Berlin last night erupted into a fan parade, with hundreds of hooting cars, German tricolurs flying from their roofs, roaring through the city with supporters hanging out of the windows chanting, " Deutschland! Deutschland!" Football commentators were at pains to point out that England's defeat was the worst it had ever suffered in World Cup history.

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