Several Swedish players have admitted they were pleased to see Germany knocked out of the World Cup. “It is sad for Germany,” said the forward Marcus Berg, “but this is the thing: karma can be a bad thing sometimes.”
The ill-feeling between the two countries stems from their meeting at the group stage, which Germany won 2-1 after a late Toni Kroos free-kick. The Swedes were irritated that two Germany officials walked over to the bench and clapped in their faces after the final whistle.
“Some of the group leaders of their team celebrated by running in our direction, rubbing it into our faces by making gestures,” the coach, Janne Andersson, said after Saturday’s game. “That really got me annoyed and angry. We had fought it out for 90 minutes and at the end you should shake hands.”
Sweden beat Mexico 3-0 on Wednesday to secure their place in the last 16, where they will face Switzerland, and the captain, Andreas Granqvist, could be seen laughing when told that Germany had lost 2-0 to South Korea and were going home.
The Sweden and Celtic defender Mikael Lustig told Aftonbladet: “It is never wrong to eliminate Germany considering their behaviour [on Saturday] and considering what some players have said. It feels nice. I am not going to deny that. It feels really nice.
“I won’t name them but there were two players who ran past me and shouted straight at my face. They were mocking me. I didn’t say anything back because I was so shocked.”