UK’s phoney war with Germany is over – we’ve realised we have so much in common

I hope that even if you’re not a football fan you are appreciating the instructive nature of this World Cup .

Although it’s doubtful going by the screams I hear from my wife whenever Coronation Street’s starting time is messed with, despite being told there’s more drama queens, OTT plots and weeping brats on show in Russia than Weatherfield.

I say instructive because it’s ­delivering important lessons for our nearest and dearest. If your daughter thinks that by becoming a professional sports commentator she won’t face criticism from neanderthals about being an ill-informed, high-pitched siren, tell her to think again.

If your son’s sole ambition is to secure global fame and the drug-fuelled laddish lifestyle that goes with it, show him the footage of Diego Maradona off his cake and he’ll maybe think again.

And then there’s our German ­neighbours. Naturally most of the world’s population rejoiced in them being knocked out as, well they nearly always win. And they’re German.

But the expected avalanche of anti-Teutonic sentiment that’s usually spouted over here in such moments didn’t happen.

Apart from a paper whose world view is stuck around the time of the sinking of the Belgrano, and another so devoid of humour it still thinks the sunbed gag is topical, the gloating was relatively subdued.

There was much punning on VAR/WAR, but no ­headlines screaming Over And Kraut, Haw Haw You Lost, Achtung Surrender or reminders of the last time Germans made a humiliating retreat from Russia in the 1940s.

Not even a quote from Stan Boardman about finally getting revenge for his bombed chippy.

Which was in stark contrast to the xenophobia of Euro 96 , which wasn’t confined to the media.

After Germany knocked out England there were riots in Trafalgar Square, a Russian was mistaken for a German in Brighton and stabbed, foreign students locked ­themselves in their rooms, Aldis were bricked, and BMW dealerships did a roaring trade in new wing mirrors.

This time, younger social media users mocked the tiredness of the towels on sunbed gags, Nigel Farage got panned for taunting Angela Merkel with the phrase “Germexit” (and was reminded that he gave his taxpayer-funded secretary’s job to his German wife) and there was a swift backlash when a Good Morning Britain reporter used the German flag as a dishcloth in a pub.

London-based German comedian Henning Wehn (standard put-down to an English heckler yelling about two World Wars and one World Cup: “four World Cups and one World Pope”) tweeted “Wanted: a new comedy act. The old one is buggered”. To which he got masses of warm replies from English followers.

The attitude of the majority of Brits towards the Germans has changed in recent years partially because no one under 73 was alive when we were last at war. We’ve just been in a phoney one ever since.

Plus we’ve realised that we have so much in common.

We love their cars and sound systems, they love our musicians and ­comedians, we share the same holiday beaches and when our anthem is played before the Colombia game on Tuesday , our players will be asking God to save a noble, gracious German woman.

More importantly, this weekend, when the beer shortage kicks in due to a lack of CO2, you’ll find yourself yelling Anglo-Saxon expletives at the barmaid for not having any Beck’s lager left to wash down your hamburger.

We even share schadenfreude.

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