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Der Kaiser has his say; Franz Beckenbauer on German ouster

Jun 29, 2012, 12:54 PM EDT

German National Team Arrival 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.)

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