England v Germany at Euro 2020: 'Time for England to redefine their biggest rivalry'

England v Germany Location: Wembley Stadium in London Date: Tuesday 29 June Kick-off at 17:00 BST. Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, and text commentary on BBC Sport.Football hurt in England is measured in years.Since 1966's international zenith, Geoff Hurst had smashed three, Nobby Styles danced a jig, and Bobby Moore sat on his shoulders, the World Cup trophy in his hands.Germany (then West), was there to witness England's celebrations. They were there ever since, making amends for their 4-2 loss and inflicting pain on English resentment.Many used the term "Inevitable" when a chaotic finale to Euro 2020 Group F ended with Joachim Low's England team as England's 16th opponents.Bravo Argentina! Keep trying Portugal. There is no rival for England's big-tournament nemesis.Since 1966, four times have England met Germany in knockout rounds of major tournaments. They have lost four times, sometimes narrowly, sometimes unlucky, and always in pain. This is less a series, but more a recipe to a national existential crises.England fans are not the only ones who have their own mental trauma and grief. Germany is the main antagonist.Frank Lampard has a chance of Generation Z landing a good foot ahead of the line at 2010 World Cup. However, Gen X and early Millennials are both cursed with the double whammy: a crestfallen Chris Waddle (1990), a grey Gareth Southgate (1996), and a strange hybrid of two Gazzas (he stretches in vain trying to divert a football home).The Baby Boomers are poor and have all the above, plus Uwe Seeler's logic-defying forward header and Gerd Müller's point-blank attack on a Mexican pitch in 1970.Some areas have a tendency to draw on crass references the two World Wars, and xenophobic cliches regarding sun loungers and beach towels.Germany has provided England with its most notorious football villainsWhile there may be venom among some, there is also often humor on the other side.England's hostility towards the German team has been largely unrequited. This is not to suggest that Germans don't care about playing England. They just have bigger fish to fry and are often en route to another final. Apathy is more embarrassing for an aggressor than seeing your anger met with apathy.Former player Dietmar Hamann said this week that England is not Germany's greatest rivals. External-link "Our biggest rivals have always been considered the most likely to challenge our efforts."Ouch.However, time is a powerful healer in many ways.It has been 11 years since their last meeting and nearly 20 years since they were competitive in a fixture against Germany. The 5-1 win at Munich was only a qualifying match for the World Cup, in which the Three Lions would fail again. Germany would reach the final, evidently.England now has whole new generations football fans, untroubled by trauma losses. They no longer see clips from YouTube with benign clips that were made when people wore funny clothes or had even more funnier haircuts. They have been inflicted more pain by Croatia and Iceland.While they are taught about the past, they can see present Germany as a country of social progress, multi-culturalism and maturity. They also see an industry, health, hope, and a country of industrialization. Youngsters and 20-somethings travel to Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich to experience the nightlife.In search of opportunities, our young footballers are also moving to the UK in an ever-increasing amount. Two of them - Jude Bellingham, Jadon Sancho – owe their places in the England team in large part to their Borussia Dortmund opportunities.The familiarity gained can be used in both directions. Three players from Chelsea's Champions League-winning team could play for Germany at Wembley: Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Antonio Rudiger.Bellingham and Sancho represent the type of player that England is looking for in young players. They are open to learning, education, and are willing to learn from other cultures.People who don't live in Germany regularly travel to Germany every season for Champions League games. They play alongside internationals and their club sides.They are 25 years old on average, with Kyle Walker at 31. Kyle Walker is the oldest, and they have not been affected by the traumas of Euro 1996 or before. Many will remember 2010 as a blurry childhood memory.Southgate's England Evolution - International player, FA Head of Elite Development, Coach for Under-21 and now National Team bossImportantly, however, there is an England player who understands better than anyone the pain of losing in a major tournament to Germany.Gareth Southgate's tenure as England manager felt like a riposte for his painful, personal end to Euro 96.His strategy, particularly at the Euros, is to minimize risk and maximise talent. He also tries to eliminate the possibility of something as unpredictable as a penalty shootout.He has created an England side that is more like the best Germany, it is calm, calculated, and almost robotic in its ruthlessness.Germany arrived at the tournament in chaos, with a confused squad selection, lack of direction, and a coach on his exit.They managed to survive on their own in the group stage. When they were just six minutes away from being eliminated by Hungary, they survived through determination and flashes from talent.Do you sound familiar?Perhaps Southgate is more sensitive than any England manager living memory to the representative qualities of the national squad, and the obligations that go with them.He spoke out about the emblematic qualities of his diverse and socially conscious team during the 2018 World Cup semi finals.After the controversy over his side taking the knee prior to games in support for racial equality in sports, he published an open letter in The Player's Tribune titled "Dear England" external-link, in which he addressed both his responsibility and the mutually beneficial relationship between his national team's fans and him.He will send his team out to play in a football match on Tuesday. This young team can make a significant step forward in its development and redefine what Germany looks like for a new generation. It will move away from fear and negativity to be joyful and optimistic.Could this be England's moment to stop looking backwards, and instead start moving forward?