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Der Kaiser has his say; Franz Beckenbauer on German ouster

German National Team Arrival

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - JUNE 29: Philipp Lahm of Germany boards a jet after they arrive at Frankfurt Airport following Germany’s defeat to Italy in the semi-final of the UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland on June 29, 2012 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bongarts/Getty Images

Everyone has had their say about Germany’s oddly meek entrance into Thursday’s semfinal, the 2-1 loss to Italy.

A few of these “says” don’t give Italy quite enough credit. No, Germany wasn’t tip-top – but the Azzurri tactics and ability to locate sufficient energy under tough circumstances had much to do with it, right? So did some fine goalkeeping, and the simple-dimple fact that Italy’s finishing was better. Sometimes, it’s not chess – it’s just checkers like that.

Either way, some “says” are worth more than others. For instance, I certainly am interested in what World Cup winner (as a player and a coach) Franz Beckenbauer had to say. Here’s a snippet from Der Kaiser in today’s Bild (courtesy of England’s Guardian … because I don’t so much “sprechen sie Deutsch”):

“The first-half performance was a mystery to me after we performed so confidently in the four games beforehand. The first 45 minutes were deeply disappointing. That was not the true German team. They seemed completely lifeless ... I think we have too much respect [for Italy]. The talk about the curse of Italy seemed to paralyse the players.”

(Photo: German fullback Philipp Lahm and other team members boarding a jet upon arrival Friday at Frankfurt Airport.)