If you thought an inability to contain Mario Balotelli had much to do with Germany’s Euro 2012 semi-final loss to Italy last Wednesday, you’re clearly pretty fucking naive.  As it turns out, Deutschland’s defeat was entirely down to the national team’s failure to belt out their anthem in a convincing manner.  The Guardian collects the entirely rational accusations :

The Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath, writing in the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper, said: “Those who saw how fervently the Italians sang, even screamed, their anthem could sense the will with which they would approach the following 95 minutes. I missed this audible commitment, this readiness to want to give all, in the German team.”

On Monday, Bild asked in a back-page headline: “Are we patriotic enough?”

“It is downright shameful that not all our players sing along with our anthem,” the conservative lawmaker Hans-Peter Uhl was quoted as saying.

The former Germany captain and manager Franz Beckenbauer added: “Ardour must begin before kick-off and singing loudly together helps with that.”