Germany Under-21s coach Stefan Kuntz admitted he had to lie to his mum when the family name became the butt of a Baddiel and Skinner joke in 1998.
The 54-year-old was part of the Germany squad which broke England’s hearts at Euro 96 – exactly 21 years ago on Monday.
He scored in the 1-1 semi-final draw against England before netting the fifth penalty in the shoot-out to take it to sudden death.
Senior England boss Gareth Southgate missed the next crucial spot-kick before Andreas Moller scored to put Germany through to the final.
David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds re-released their hit song from the Euros, ‘Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home),’ for the 1998 World Cup and the video saw them play a team of German fans, all with Kuntz’s name on their shirts.
Kuntz now meets England again in the European Under-21s Championship semi-final in Tychy, Poland, on Tuesday and has recalled the time he had to shield his mum from the truth behind that music video.
He said: “In the first video it was normal but after the European Championship they changed the video and you see a lot of players with my name on their backs.
“My mum asked me, ‘Why?’ I think it was one of the only situations that I lied to my mum. Of course I couldn’t tell her that Kuntz in German is ‘Kuntz’, but what it means in English…..so I said, ‘hey mum that’s because I scored the goal I think!’ So don’t tell my mum!”
Many of his German squad were only one or two years old when Germany won the Euro 96 title, beating the Czech Republic 2-1 after Oliver Bierhoff’s golden goal at Wembley.
Waldemar Anton was six days old while Nadiem Amiri and Thilo Kehrer were not even born.
But Kuntz remembers the semi-final against England clearly, and was confident Germany would beat the hosts on penalties.
He said: “The most amazing memory in my head from that is my thought that England could not score penalties. I said to my coach: ‘I will take the fifth one’, thinking the English would never score all five penalties.
“I was wrong. Then I had to take the fifth one and you know where my heart was? Very deep in my pants!
“Of course it was the biggest victory for me. But the most impressive thing was that when we left the pitch the English supporters gave us a standing ovation. I had goose-pimples. I’ve never felt this from opposition supporters. It was amazing. This was fair play at its best.
“It’s very funny. Some of my players are asking me now because I think somebody told them. There are many parallels – the first game against Czech Republic and the third against Italy and now a semi-final against England.
“Of course I have to tell them because they don’t remember. They were not born at that time! So I will have tell them something about history.”
Southgate was England Under-21 manager until replacing Sam Allardyce as senior boss last year and Kuntz remembers Southgate and still has sympathy for him.
He added: “Yes of course. But I want to hug him because I think we shared the experience together. Sometimes we win and sometimes they win.”