Eng­land are stupid and burnt out, says guess who…

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL -

IT’S not re­ally a game that needs any ex­tra ri­valry.

But that hasn’t stopped Ger­many’s great­est foot­baller from stok­ing up the ten­sions ahead of his coun­try’s World Cup clash with Eng­land to­mor­row.

This week Franz Beck­en­bauer in­ten­si­fied his crit­i­cism of the Eng­land team, call­ing them “stupid” and “burnt out”.

“The Kaiser”, who won the World Cup with Ger­many as a player and a man­ager and now works for foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body, Fifa, had al­ready slated Eng­land for play­ing “kick and rush” foot­ball in this tour­na­ment.

But af­ter hear­ing that the two sides were to meet in a last-16 knock­out tie be­cause Eng­land failed to top their group as ex- pected, he con­tin­ued his as­sault on Fabio Capello’s men, telling Ger­man news­pa­per Bild: “A game like this should be a semi-fi­nal, not a last-16 game.

“Stupidly, the English have slipped up a lit­tle by fin­ish­ing sec­ond in their group.”

He added: “The English look a lit­tle tired. There is a good rea­son for that.

“The Premier League play­ers have got to play far more games than their (Ger­man league) col- leagues, in­clud­ing two na­tional cup com­pe­ti­tions.

“There­fore, when it comes to a World Cup or a Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship, they are burnt out.

“Our play­ers, on the other hand, seem to be in a phys­i­cally bet­ter con­di­tion.”

Of how he felt about hav­ing to play Eng­land ear­lier than ex­pected in South Africa, he said: “Of course we re­spect them, but we cer­tainly don’t fear them.

“Eng­land’s first two ap­pear- an­ces at the World Cup were paltry, but they im­proved against Slove­nia.”

In a back­handed com­pli­ment ap­par­ently de­signed to pile pres­sure on Eng­land, he added: “Af­ter all, Eng­land have been wait­ing since 1966 for a ti­tle.

“Fabio Capello ap­pears to have brought dis­ci­pline to the troops. Af­ter they failed to qual­ify for Euro 2008, Eng­land hit rock bot­tom.”

Last night his mind games ap­peared to have back­fired within the Eng­land camp in Rusten­burg.

One in­sider said: “We must thank Beck­en­bauer for do­ing a team talk for us – we can pin his com­ments on the dress­in­groom wall be­fore the match and that will give us all the mo­ti­va­tion we need.” – Daily Mail

Franz Beck­en­bauer

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