News / Europe

World Cup Match Recalls Franco-German Ties

Fans watch French and German soccer teams’ quarterfinal match in the border town of Kehyl, Germany, near Strasbourg, July 4, 2014.
Fans watch French and German soccer teams’ quarterfinal match in the border town of Kehyl, Germany, near Strasbourg, July 4, 2014.
Lisa Bryant

As Europe marks the century anniversary of World War I, Germany and France battled over a very different goal this week: a place in the World Cup semifinals.

This time, in Friday’s quarterfinal match in Brazil, Germany emerged the victor.

France's fate was not yet sealed early Friday evening, and at bars across Paris, supporters of "Les Bleus," as the French team is known, were still hoping for an upset over Germany.

Thierry Litterra, a marketing consultant who dropped by the café in the city’s northeast, said he hoped his country would win “because we want to see other matches and have fun and enjoy, because it's a nice moment. … It's not over yet. So everything is still possible."

On the field and off, the French-German rivalry is an old story. It played out during the 1982 World Cup semifinals in Spain. West Germany won, but not before the German goalkeeper left a French player with a cracked vertebra and broken teeth.

Of course, there have been more brutal battles over the centuries – including World War I, whose centenary is being marked this year, and World War II. France, the rest of Europe and most of the world commemorated the 70th anniversary last month of the allies' D-Day attack on German armies occupying France.

Today, Germany and France are Europe's economic engines. They helped to found today's European Union and their cooperation is key to powering it.

A separate state of play

For soccer fan Littera, it's a different world.

"Everything has changed, it's not the same history. … We don't forget what happened in terms of history,” he said. But when it comes to the World Cup, “nothing compares.”

To be sure, old rivalries remain. Tourists Gaby and Abraham were the only Germans at this Paris bar.

"It's not so good here when Germany wins. At home, it's very good,” she said, her voice trailing off as her husband laughed.  

As for French and German conflict during World War II, Gaby said it’s no longer relevant.

"I did not live when the war was on,” she said. “We cannot say if it was good or was it wrong. And now we say nothing. There's a soccer match and the best shall win." 

Germany proved to be the better force Friday night, beating France 1-0. The battle for the World Cup goes on, but the bigger wars are over.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid