Tonight, at 2045 CEST: Germany meets Greece in the quarter finals of the European Football Championship 2012.
In a sense only a football match, this encounter is completely overcharged with expectations, hopes and fears. After years of the financial crisis in Greece and the German help in the fighting of – depending on one’s view – this crisis or its aggravation by the German insistence on austerity, the relationship between the two countries and nations is fraught with tension. Germans believe that their retirement cheques is becoming unsafe because Greeks pay no taxes. Greeks on the other hand think that the Germans only pretend to bail them out, while in reality they only give financial injections to their own banks. The inevitable clichés of the “lazy Southern European” on the one and Nazi comparisons on the other side abound.
A miracle will be expected of both national teams tonight. A fair draw would be the best result to ease political tensions, but is not an option in the quarter finals of a European Football Championship. One of them has to win. Worse, one of them has to lose and has to return home in shame. Some in Germany – mainly those who don’t usually show that much interest in football – almost demand a loss of their own team for the sake of European unity.
Because of these excessive expectations, the match between Germany and Greece was secretly brought forward and was already played yesterday. Here is the exclusive report about the match:
(Es gibt auch eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels mit einem deutschsprachigen Video des Spielberichts.)