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 By Uli Hesse

Germany and Poland bring back World Cup '74 memories and the water battle

Germany and Poland's second-round clash at the World Cup in 1974 was notable for the dreadful pitch conditions.

When Germany play Poland in Frankfurt in European Championship 2016 qualifying on Friday, many memories will come flooding back -- and you'll see in a second why this is a pun.

The two sides have met many times over the years but one match towers above the rest: the World Cup game in Frankfurt on July 3, 1974.

Germans call it "die Wasserschlacht", the water battle, while it's "mecz na wodzie" for the Poles, the water game. It's sometimes referred to as the semifinal, but it was in fact the teams'...

Matthaus on Germany's close ties with Asia and Maradona vs. Messi

Germany's World Cup-winning captain, Lothar Matthaus, says the Bundesliga is a natural fit for Asia's players. Photo credit: Bundesliga

The Bundesliga is a natural fit for Asia's top players and better suited to them than Europe's other big leagues, according to one of the German championship's favourite sons, Lothar Matthaus.

The 1990 World Cup-winning captain, who claimed seven Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich, made the claim over the weekend during a promotional visit to Singapore.

He said his country and the Bundesliga shared "a special relationship" with Asia because of shared values.

"Asian players have more in common...

 By Uli Hesse

Celebrating Germany's improbable run to glory at Italia '90

West Germany celebrate winning the 1990 World Cup.

World Cups can be like politicians; their reputations sometimes improve with the passage of time. Take the 1990 World Cup in Italy, recently honoured through numerous "25 years ago" remembrances published throughout the footballing world.

However, when the spectacle ended -- on July 8, 1990, and with a match Brian Glanville called "probably the worst, most tedious, bad-tempered final in the history of the World Cup" -- the vast majority of people were glad the whole thing was over and agreed...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Mario Gotze throws horrendous first pitch at Los Angeles Dodgers game

This time last year Mario Gotze was a little preoccupied helping Germany to World Cup glory in Brazil. 

It's different this summer for the Bayern Munich midfielder, who is able to relax on holiday in the United States.

But rather than just sitting back on the beach with a pina colada, Goetze has been checking out the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He was even given the honour of throwing the...

 By Uli Hesse

Germany youngsters seek to defend U19 title after U21 heartbreak

Portugal thrash Germany to advance to the U21 European Championship.
Germany celebrate during their semifinal win over Austria on their way to winning the European U19 Championships in 2014.

For German football fans, the tournament deluge continues unabated. On Sunday, the European U19 Championship starts in Greece and Germany will be looking to retain the title the team won last summer.

They will be also looking to inject the feelgood factor back into German football following the U21's disastrous 5-0 semifinal defeat against Portugal in the European U21 Championship on June 27.

This U19 competition is not as widely covered as the Euro U21 equivalent but there was a time when it was...

 By Uli Hesse

Germany under-21s look to banish past and return to Olympic Games

Relive all the must see moments from a week of U21 European Championship play, including Jesse Lingard's long-range strike for England.
Germany and Italy battle it out at the 1988 Olympic football final in Seoul, South Korea.

When Germany's under-21 side meet hosts Czech Republic at the European Championship on Tuesday night, a draw will be enough for the team to go through to the semifinals. This would also mean that Germany have qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics men's tournament.

One would think both achievements cannot be too uncommon for a hugely successful football nation like Germany. But they are. In fact, if coach Horst Hrubesch's under-21s reach the last four, it will be a success of historic dimensions.