For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

[Guest Column] - Starry Starry Night At Kallang ...

The former players featured in last weekend's “Battle Of Europe” match between England Masters and Germany Masters had many of those at the game recalled those good old memories when they saw the likes of legends Lothar Matthäus, Teddy Sheringham, etc. took on each other in one of football's most storied rivalries at Kallang with Yusof B Ibrahim, among those at the game, who penned his thoughts on that evening.

Teddy Sheringham and Lothar Matthäus skippered their teams
It has been fifty years since England last won their first ever and only major international football honour to date - 1966 FIFA World Cup by beating West Germany 4-2 under one of the most controversial circumstances ever which is still much of a debate today.

As such, there was a sense of Déjà vu over the last weekend when the England Masters repeated the same scoreline by defeated the Germany Masters in the Battle of Europe 2016 that took place at the iconic National Stadium of the Singapore Sports Hub.

The footballing rivalry between the two nations is a massive one, England accounted some of their biggest disappointments in any major tournament against Germany that many English supporters see the Germans as their main sporting rivals.

Lothar Matthäus (left) in action
Not once but twice in recent decades saw the Die Mannschaft halted the The Three Lions from further glories since 1966 by knocked them out of contention from Italia 90 (1990 World Cup in Italy) and Euro 96 (1996 UEFA European Football Championship in England), both on penalties in the semi-final stages and went on to win both tournaments in the end.

Italia 90 was the start of my adoration towards both German and English football with the admiration of legends like Lothar Matthäus, Jurgen Klinsmann, Gary Lineker, Bryan Robson.

It was definitely a mixed feeling then when both met again in the semi-finals during Euro 96 that I was torn in between to see who would I want to make it through that stage.

Darren Anderton (left) tried to stop a German advancement
The Battle of Europe brought back a lot of memories.

To be able to watch those legends whom I idolized during my growing up years in live was a dream come true. It was a privilege to meet up former players like Teddy Sheringham, Steve McManaman and Darren Anderton who were part of that England squad eliminated by the Germans in the Euro 96.

And not forgetting Matthäus, who only arrived in Singapore on the match day, to renew the storied rivalry between the two at Kallang.

Yusof (left) with former Liverpool 'keeper David James (credit: Yusof B Ibrahim)
All these while, we may have seen them in action during those weekend nights on television in those good ol' days but nothing can beat the joy and enthusiasm to witness them in live action like how I was in awe to see Sheringham, cool and composed as always, provided a pinpoint cross to Anderton for account opening header in the 2nd minute before unleashed a driver from close-range to extend the lead in the 28th minute.
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