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Five memorable clashes between Germany and Spain

Germany and Spain collide in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals this evening in a clash between the tournament’s most impressive performers so far.

The two teams are no strangers to meeting in the latter stages of major tournaments and tonight’s game promises to be another classic between the two most successful sides in European Championship history.

Ahead of the game, we’ve remembered five classic contests between Germany and Spain.

West Germany 2-1 Spain – World Cup group stage (1982) 

West Germany’s clash with Spain proved to be the decisive game in a three-team group at the 1982 World Cup.

As part of a now defunct second group stage, the two teams faced off against England and each drew with the Three Lions, leaving their contest at the Santiago Bernabeu as the crucial clash.

The Germans were the reigning European champions after winning the 1980 European Championship and booked their place in the semi-finals.

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Pierre Littbarski opened the scoring five minutes into the second half before Klaus Fischer doubled the advantage. Spain pulled a goal back through Real Sociedad midfielder Jesús María Zamora but it was too little too late for the host nation who crashed out.

West Germany 2-0 Spain – European Championship group stage (1988)

West Germany again got the better of Spain when the sides met in the 1988 European Championship.

It was a winner-takes-all showdown at the Olympiastadion in Munich with the victors guaranteed a place in the knockout rounds. Rudi Voller’s brace was the difference between the sides as the Roma forward scored either side of half-time to send the hosts through.

Italy’s win over Austria in the other fixture condemned Spain to an early exit.

Germany 0-1 Spain – European Championship final (2008)

Spain ended an era of underachievement to claim their first major title in 44 years at Euro 2008.

La Roja were well worth their success at the tournament and beat Germany 1-0 in the final, as Fernando Torres lifted a delicate finish over the onrushing Jens Lehmann for the game’s only goal.

The Spanish striker scampered onto Xavi’s through ball to dink home the winner and etch his name in the nation’s football folklore. The narrow scoreline failed to tell the tale of the final with Germany second-best throughout, as Luis Aragones’ Spain side produced some spellbinding football throughout the tournament.

Euro 2008 – Xavi and Spain’s pass masters finally end decades of underachievement

Germany 0-1 Spain – World Cup semi-final (2010)

Rivalries were renewed at the business end of a major tournament two years later, as Germany and Spain went head-to-head for a place in the 2010 World Cup final.

A new-look German side had been a breath of fresh air at the tournament, thrashing England (4-1) and Argentina (4-0) in the knockout rounds to set up a showdown with the Spanish in Durban.

Emerging stars Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller had starred for a free-scoring Germany team but Joachim Löw’s side were stopped in their tracks by the European champions.

Spain’s tiki-taka dominance of possession frustrated Germany throughout and La Roja found a winner when Carles Puyol powered home a 73rd-minute header.

Spain went on to beat the Netherlands in the final, securing a second successive major tournament and first World Cup win.

Spain 6-0 Germany – UEFA Nations League (2020)

Spain produced a stunning performance to inflict Germany’s heaviest-ever competitive defeat during a Nations League clash in 2020.

Ferran Torres scored the first hat-trick of his career as La Roja ran riot to leave Germany shell-shocked. Joachim Löw’s side were in control of the group heading into the game and needed only to avoid defeat to reach the Nations League finals, but suffered a demoralising defeat.

Alvaro Morata opened the scoring for Spain, who had 70% of the possession and 23 shots on goal, before Torres doubled the lead with his first of the evening.

Rodri added a third for the hosts and Torres completed his hat-trick with two further goals. Mikel Oyarzabal turned in from close range to complete the rout as Spain hit Germany for six.

Read – Defensive Rocks: Carles Puyol – A Catalan colossus

See more – Midfield Magicians: Michael Ballack – Little Kaiser

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