In 1966, England defeated Germany 4-2 to hoist their only World Cup. 50 years later, both national Masters teams came together to pay homage to their most famous match-up.
Although the stakes were not as high, the former internationals played to an identical result at the Singapore National Stadium, much to the delight of the 10,700 fans who turned up.
Germany Masters' Patrick Owomoyela (on ground) in action against England Masters' Lee Hendrie. Photo: Sport Singapore
Despite losing former Manchester United legend Paul Scholes to a chest infection, the English side featured the likes of Emile Heskey, Darren Anderton and Teddy Sheringham, who scored two of the team’s four goals.
The Germans boasted Dietmar Hamann, Lothar Matthaus, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Alexander Zickler and Fredi Bobic.
Even though the old boys were past their prime, the competitive spirit was very much alive.
“It’s always nice to see everyone together again,” said Heskey, who also credited the Germans for their performance on the pitch.
For the 38-year-old, the opportunity to get together with his former teammates was one to cherish.
“It’s nice to get together to have some fun and be back on the pitch. That’s where had the most memorable times of our lives really.”
The 80-minute long exhibition match was nothing short of entertaining, as the players dazzled with their ageless skills and touches, eliciting constant cheers from the fans.
England Masters' Steve McManaman (left) of England celebrates with teammate Darren Anderton after a goal. Photo: Sport Singapore
While admitting that the humidity in Singapore provided a little bit of a challenge, Bobic was still glad the match happened.
“It was a good game and everybody had a little fun.”
History aside, the match provided the veterans a chance to rekindle their passion and catch up through the sport that brought them together.
Goals were scored, but it was the handshakes and back pats that mattered.