In order to win Euro 2020, England must do what they’ve only ever managed to do once before: knock Germany out of a major tournament.
England’s last victory over their old rivals in the knockout rounds of a major tournament was the 1966 World Cup final.
Since then, Germany have inflicted a huge amount of heartache on the Three Lions.
England were famously beaten by the Germans in the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup and 1996 European Championships.
And Germany prevailed once again when the two nations met in the 2010 World Cup’s Round of 16 in Bloemfontein.
Miroslav Klose put Germany 1-0 up in the 20th minute following some of the most embarrassing defending you’ll ever see at international level before Lukas Podolski made it 2-0 shortly afterwards.
Matthew Upson reduced the deficit to one goal in the 37th minute. Frank Lampard was then cruelly denied an equalising goal after lobbing Manuel Neuer. The ball clearly crossed the line but technology was not in use at the time.
England eventually lost the match 4-1 after Thomas Muller scored two goals in quick succession midway through the second half.
Mesut Ozil vs Gareth Barry’s race in 2010
This was the tournament that Mesut Ozil cemented his status as one of the world’s most exciting young footballers.
It was no surprise when Real Madrid pounced to seal his signature from Werder Bremen following a string of excellent performances in South Africa.
Ozil showed his world-class quality against England when he roasted the ageing Gareth Barry for pace before laying the ball on a plate for Muller to score past David James.
That sentence alone is enough to bring England fans out into a cold sweat.
The footage is even more haunting…
Despite having a head-start on the German playmaker, Barry found himself rinsed in the head-to-head race as Germany launched a swift counter-attack.
The two teams are obviously completely different now, 11 years later, and England will be optimistic that they can avoid a similar result against the four-time world champions.
But the ghosts of 1990, 1996 and 2010 will only be partially exorcised if Gareth Southgate’s side defeat their old foes at Wembley next week.