Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Merkel the football fan going to Vienna for final: government

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Jun 2008

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in the stands on Sunday to watch Germany take on Spain in the Euro 2008 final, the government said.

“The chancellor will be in Vienna to cheer on the Mannschaft,” government spokesman Thomas Steg told a media briefing, adding that German President Horst Koehler and several government ministers will also attend.

Merkel was in Basel on Wednesday to witness Germany's narrow victory over Turkey in their nail-biting semi-final and Steg said she is crossing her fingers for Sunday.

“The chancellor is convinced that our side has the power and the will to prevail,” he said but added: “After Spain's strong performance, one cannot necessarily say Germany is in the role of favourite.”

Spain has confirmed that King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will be at the match, after the Spanish side booked a place in the final by demolishing Russia 3-0 on Thursday.

Merkel became a regular in the stands when Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006 and as the Germans advanced through this tournament she has taken to giving the players some motherly advice.

During their quarter final clash against Portugal, she was at an EU summit in Brussels but her spokesman kept her briefed on the score via text message.

German playmaker Bastian Schweinsteiger revealed after their 3-2 victory that he was given a stern warning by Merkel to refrain from further fouls after being sent off against Croatia and missing the group clash against Austria.

“She told me what I needed to do today (for the quarter-final),” the Bayern Munich star said.

“She told me I should not do the same foolish things (as against Croatia) and play as I had been doing before.

“I took her advice.”

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