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29th Jun 2017

Bild reveal what was written on German U21 goalkeeper’s note in shootout

It had nothing to do with England's penalty-takers

Darragh Murphy

Julian Pollersbeck is a very cunning youngster.

The German U21 goalkeeper proved the hero in Tuesday’s European U21 Championship semi-final victory over England, saving two penalties to guarantee the Germans a place in the final on Friday.

Tammy Abraham and Nathan Redmond failed to find the net and England’s history of semi-final shootout heartbreak against Germany continued.

What intrigued viewers about the shootout was the apparent “cheat sheet” utilised by Pollersbeck.

Supporters assumed that the 22-year-old had scribbled down the likely direction that England’s takers would go with their spot-kicks.

They’d be wrong.

According to Bild, there was no information about the penalty-takers on the paper in Pollersbeck’s sock.

Apparently, it was no more than a brilliant bluff from the stopper, who’d hoped to put the Englishmen off their game by pretending to know more than he did.

The report suggests that Pollersbeck simply used the game’s official teamsheet, folded it up and stuffed it into his sock before the shootout.

He then consulted it in front of the opposition players as they strolled up from the halfway line to the penalty spot.

Who knows how much it affected the English penalty-takers but the fact of the matter is that Pollersbeck saved two penalties so you can’t say that it didn’t work.