Franz Beckenbauer has issued an apology after his recent criticisms of England's World Cup campaign. The German legend, who won the World Cup as a player and manager, had claimed England were "stupid" to set up a World Cup last-16 clash with his home nation on Sunday.
And the man nicknamed 'Der Kaiser' during his playing days suggested Fabio Capello's players are "burnt out" following a gruelling Premier League season.
He had earlier accused the Three Lions of 'going backwards' under the Italian and adopting a 'kick and rush' approach to the game by playing too many long balls.
He said: "Before the World Cup I thought England would play a major role in the tournament, maybe win the title.
"They have a great team and a great coach and then after the first two games I was so disappointed - not angry, but very, very disappointed.
"Maybe this (attack on England) was the reaction of my disappointment, but I apologise."
Beckenbauer continued: "Because I like England and English football I am really a big, big fan of the English style. Maybe it was a reaction because I was disappointed, maybe I was in a bad mood.
"In other words I apologised already and now I look forward to the game on Sunday. I think it will be a very, very interesting game."