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England will contest a quarter-final for the third time in their last four appearances at the European Championship after defying the odds to beat Germany 2-0 on Tuesday.
The Three Lions had failed to beat Die Mannschaft in a knockout fixture of any major tournament since the 1966 World Cup final, but late goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane saw them advance to the last eight of Euro 2020.
And spoon-bending phenomenon Uri Geller has said Gareth Southgate has him to thank for keeping his side ahead en route to their historic win.
Joachim Low’s side looked set to equalise through Thomas Muller when the Bayern Munich star raced through one-on-one with Jordan Pickford shortly after Sterling’s opener.
His attempt flashed just wide of the English goal, however, and Geller told the Jewish Telegraph he was to thank for influencing Muller’s effort from afar:
Geller, 74, said he was certain his powers of manipulation played a part: “There is no doubt in my mind that I was responsible for Muller’s miss.
“I was just about to go on the stage. I was behind the curtain.
“Shipi [his brother-in-law and right hand man] had the Euros app on his phone and I was watching the match.
“The saxophone player also had the match on and he will vouch for the fact that as Muller shaped up to shoot, I shouted, ‘One, two, three, bend’.
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“He was also shouting ‘bend’ as Muller tried to make contact with the ball. Instead of the word ‘move’ that I used in 1996, I shouted ‘bend’.
“When I saw that England had won, I ran on to the stage and everyone was applauding.
“If you play back the miss in slow motion you will be amazed what you see (sic).
“The power of the mind is immense.”
Geller’s claim is even more remarkable considering he resides in the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv, more than 3,500 miles away from Wembley where the last-16 encounter took place.
England’s bid for a quarter-final berth could have panned out a lot differently had Muller’s shot hit the back of the net.
Fortunately for the hosts, Kane sealed the result with a header in the 86th minute, ending his European Championship drought along with England’s German curse.
Die Mannschaft had nine shots at goal compared to England’s five on the evening. However, they only managed to hit the target three times, while only one of the hosts’ attempts failed to test Manuel Neuer.
It’s not the first time metallic manipulator Geller has claimed responsibility for a significant event at Euro 2020.
‘Psychic’ Uri said he helped move John Stones’ header onto the post in England’s 0-0 draw against Scotland.
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He explained this was an attempt to make peace with the latter nation after wobbling the ball with his mind as Gary McAllister took a penalty in Scotland's 2-0 loss to England at Euro 96.
Geller—who was born to a Hungarian father—added he also visualised the words ‘score, score, score' just before Attila Fiola put Hungary into a shock lead in their 1-1 group draw with France.
England and Southgate will be content with whatever support they can get ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final clash against Ukraine, with the team targeting semi-finals in back-to-back major tournaments.
The Three Lions haven’t managed that feat since following up their 1966 World Cup triumph with a run to third at Euro 1968, but the modern-day achievement would mean so much more.
- Uri Geller
- England Football Team
- Euro 2020
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