They were the baddies in the war: ten facts I'm just now learning about Germany, by Harry Kane

I PREFER American football, but my transfer to the Dallas Cowboys fell through so I came to Bayern Munich instead. Did you know that’s in Germany? I didn’t, or this: 

They were the baddies in the war

And not just one war. Two wars, within a couple of decades of each other. Talk about coincidence. They don’t like to talk about it much, which is odd because Britain loves nothing more. But don’t go on about the mad little lad with the tache. The locals still aren’t keen. Get over it, lads. It was 50 years ago.

They speak fantastic English

I assumed I’d be nodding my way through team talks not understanding a word like it was Nuno. But no, they speak amazing English, presumably because we won the war so that was the deal. I have learned a few local phrases, and ‘Neunundneunzig Luftballons’ gets you a long way.

It’s two hours from London

That’s all the German I learned on the flight, which was suprisingly quick. So I can pop home for a roast between games. Still, makes them losing the war look even worse when we were so close, doesn’t it? Were they even trying?

The food’s fucking rank

Disgusting. All boiled pork knuckles and white sausages floating in water. And sauerkraut is nothing like coleslaw, so my agent is a liar on that front.

The pints are massive

Being from Walthamstow I love a pint, but over here the pints are really, really big. I’m confident it’s not that I’m smaller. They come in these huge glasses called steins – German for pint, I’m learning – and I’m not allowed to drink one because I cost 100 million euros.

Oktoberfest is in September

This is the one fact you need to know about Germany above all others. Impresses people, so once I found out I’ve been telling everyone. Admittedly, most of the Germans already know it. But they’re a very polite people, again except for the wars.

You don’t need to put a towel down everywhere

That’s just by the sun loungers, apparently. I had one in the changing room, one on my chair at the Atelier restaurant, one on the team bus, everywhere. I was running out of towels by the time it got to my side of the bed. Had to use my daughter’s Peppa Pig one.

There’s no speed limits 

Fast as you like everywhere you like. No rules whatsoever. So far I’ve only gone as fast as the car in front, but early days. Also the hitch-hikers are all women, provocatively dressed. I don’t know what that’s about.

It’s not very hot

I assumed Europe was all hot, but apparently no. The weather’s basically the same as north London. It’s not on the Mediterranean and there aren’t any beaches. Instead it’s just miles and miles of stunning mountains, lakes, ancient Bavarian cottages and rolling countryside. Boring.

It’s called Deutschland

Germany? Isn’t actually Germany. I know. It’s actually Deutschland, and the people who live here are Deutschlanders. I bet even Helmut, my pen pal from Year 8 who once fingered a girl from Hamburg, didn’t know that. If only we hadn’t lost touch.

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Blaming the French: is there any problem it doesn't solve?

By Abigail Pennson, our reasonable, plain-speaking middle-class columnist who thinks Legionella is too good for them

WE pretend there are other explanations. Weather, the Labour party, Millennials, etcetera. But, you, I and everyone knows all Britain’s problems are down to the French. 

Whether they’re burning sheep and lobbing them at British holidaymakers with a trebuchet, forcing us to have the Chunnel because they think it’s sexy, or refusing to take asylum seekers that are their fault, it’s always the bloody French.

This is a nation so ridiculous it genders spoons as female and whisks as male. That puts garlic in coffee and gives bread its own shop. That is so filthy it invented the arse-washing machine. And they think they’re better than us?

Let’s be clear, France: the small boats are your fault. We know how vicious your gendarmes are. If this was an outer arrondissement of Paris, they’d be clubbed down in the streets before you could say ‘brûle ma voiture’.

But on the beaches? They’re waved off to Dover with a cheery ‘au reviour’ and a gift of stinking cheese as if they were in some way our problem.

Well, Rishi can’t solve the small boats. We all know it. Like Napoleon, he’s simply too small a man to be taken seriously. But he can do what prime ministers have been doing for centuries, and blame France.

Nobody will doubt him. ‘The French?’ Britain will say. ‘I knew it!’ We’re well aware of how they resent Brexit for breaking us free from their slimy, Gauloise-reeking, buttock-groping embrace.

Inflation? Their fault. The NHS? Undermined by their dependence on it to treat sexual injuries. Energy bills? Frog-owned utilities. Mortgages? It’s even a French word.

Blame every problem on those cross-channel bastards and the next election’s a Tory landslide. Followed by what we all know we want deep down. War.