DAVID SEAMAN let out a characteristic chuckle when it was suggested that most of this current English side may not remember Euro 96.
He laughed, “If they have any problems they can call me, don’t worry, I’ll tell them how I felt!” “
Old Wembley. Weather. The semi-final. The Germans. Penalties. Anguish.
Iconic moments from an iconic summer 25 years ago.
Most of Gareth Southgate’s squad weren’t even born to witness one of the most beloved and heart-wrenching nights in English football.
But it remains an integral part of their education
As they worked their way up, they would have seen the clips, heard the stories and felt the emotion.
They will now experience it firsthand and be a part of that story as England take on Germany at Wembley in a major tournament stage once again.
But former Three Lions goalkeeper Seaman – for that famous 1996 shootout and named to the initial squad for Italia 90 – now wants to rewrite history.
He told SunSport: âEven the youngest will understand, they will realize how much this means.
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âAnd if not, Southgate can tell them what that means and how unpleasant it can be to get beaten by them, especially with what he’s been through with his penalty – but that won’t be all negative.
âIt will be, ‘Just think about what can happen if we beat them.’ This is an opportunity to write your own story, to become heroes and to get used to beating the Germans.
âThey haven’t known Germany in a big tournament like we did in 1990 and 1996. I don’t want them to lose another. I want them to be victorious and to move on.
Unlike most English people, Seaman has helped us achieve competitive victories against the old enemy.
The 1-0 victory in the group stage of Euro 2000, the 5-1 rout of the qualifiers for the World Cup in Munich.
But would he trade him for winning on penalties at Euro 96?
He added: âI would, because of what it could have led to – England winning a trophy.
âIt has been so long since 1966 and I have been retired for a long time.
“I have a feeling I really want to be there when England win a trophy.
âI know how much that would mean for the players and the fans – there would be quite a few smug faces from this 96 side if England were to finally get one against Germany.
“It’s one of those things that I don’t want to happen again in England, especially not at this team.”
This current crop from Harry Kane and Co is reminiscent of Euro 96 at every turn possible and Seaman has admitted his team have the same pressures.
He said: âIt was always there, but you’re never going to eclipse 1966 unless you win the World Cup. We knew it, but the Euro is as close as it gets.
âAt Wembley, going up that tunnel where the 1966 England team did when they won it, it’s iconic. You need to embrace this story, use it in a positive way, and use it as encouragement.
âI don’t want this England to have this sense of loss. I want them to have positive feelings when they beat Germany and win a tournament.
âBut don’t ignore the accumulation and history.
âThere’s no point in thinking, ‘I don’t know what this is about.’ It’s a lot of commotion.
Seaman was on Peter Crouch’s Year-Late Euros for the German group’s climax and laughed at the idea of ââfacing Hungary before the inevitable happened.
He sighed, “I was like, ‘Oh man! I didn’t want them at this point. But it’s the Euro, at Wembley, against Germany. It doesn’t get much better.
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