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West Ham History: German Opponents

In West Ham's history of European football, we decided to take a look at the German opponents that they have faced, and talk through the highs and lows.

We start all the way back in 1965, where West Ham played against 1860 Munich in the UEFA European Cup Winner's Cup. In the match played at the old Wembley, captained by the great Bobby Moore, a double from Alan Sealey was enough to secure West Ham's first ever major trophy, winning 2-0 on the day, with 97,000 in attendance. 11 years later, West Ham beat Frankfurt in the Semi finals, however lost to Anderlecht in the final.

Slightly more recently, in 2022, West Ham faced Eintracht Frankfurt in another semi final, this time in the Europa League. The first leg was played at the London Stadium. The atmosphere was flattened after just 47 seconds as Knauff sent Frankfurt 1 up. An equaliser from Antonio raised the roof, although it wasn't enough as Kamada scored the winner in the second half, facing West Ham with a mountain to climb in the second leg in Germany.

It wasn't to be for the Hammers as an early goal from Barre sunk the hammers, with the Germans winning 3-1 on aggregate. A gutting ending for an amazing European campaign, and for the retiring Mark Noble, who bled claret and blue.

This season, West Ham have faced Freiburg 3 times, with a 4th meeting scheduled for next week, with 2 in the group stages of this season's Europa League and 2 in the round of 16.

Goals from Paqueta and Aguerd were enough to secure a solid 2-1 win away in Matchday 2, and goals from Kudus and Alvarez secured top spot in group A, after a professional performance in Matchday 6.

However, their last game against Freiburg didn't quite go to plan. The first leg of the round of 16 was being played in Germany, and, despite West Ham playing well, they couldn't come away with a win, losing 1-0, despite a controversial no-penalty decision in the dying seconds for the Irons. Nevertheless, their performance was not to be frowned upon, with nice sharp off and on ball movements and slick passing. Unfortunately they just couldn't put the ball in the net; a problem they have had a lot this season. West Ham will be hoping to have the London Stadium rocking next week in the return leg, to complete a comeback and advance to the last 8.

As we're talking about German opponents, how could I forget when West Ham won the World Cup against West Germany in 1966? Captained by Bobby Moore, and including hammers Martin Peters and goalscorer Geoff Hurst, the 3 lions won their first and only World Cup and major trophy to date with a 4-2 win over West Germany. Can England make a statement in German soil this summer at the Euros? All remains to be seen.

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