Saudi fans put on brave face after World Cup loss to Poland
By Peter Macdiarmid
11:39PM BST 22 Aug 2013
Thousands of Poles gathered in the streets of Warsaw after a Euro 2012 final defeat to Germany by waving Polish flags and singing “Poland the Brave”, “Wir sind Helden” and “Kochammern”, while waving banners and flags in the air.
The match, which Poland won 3-0 on penalties, was one of the biggest shocks in the history of the tournament – and one of three defeats for the host nation, as well as being the most embarrassing for Germany and its fans.
The result, it seemed, had been the shock of the tournament.
But as Poland – and fans such as Robert Glaz and his wife, Aneta – tried to put the memory of the defeat out of their minds, a similar shock was experienced by many Germans at the end of last month’s World Cup final against Italy, when Borussia Dortmund fans sang “Deutschland, Deutschland uberAlles” with the Nazi salute as their team celebrated a 2-1 victory.
As well as a victory over Argentina in the opening match of the tournament, Germany’s last-16 win over Spain also felt like a victory, with a 2-1 victory in the penalty shoot-out, although it was marred by a very public drunken brawl.
Some German fans have claimed that a part of their World Cup memories of Spain and Germany was tarnished by the lack of any such violence. But for others, memories of that tournament remain tainted in a different way, by the way their own supporters were portrayed.
So the Germany fans, after the disappointing result at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, turned off the TV. They bought beer and wine, and went on a drinking binge, before becoming fanatical.
With their team in the last 16 after a 5-1 defeat to Spain, they stormed around Dortmund’s ground, wearing “Team Germany” shirts and making a Nazi salute, before baying: “Deutschland, Deutschland, uberAlles”, after the penalty shoot-out victory.
In the next game, they gave another Nazi salute, and did the same after the win over Argentina, before going on to win the World Cup on