Based on the fact that they've been rather excellent throughout Euro 2012, most people assumed Germany would make easy work of dismissing the Italians in their semi-final game. Mario Balotelli, of course, spoiled Das Party and now the Germans head are left wondering what went wrong. (Thankfully, the Bayern Munich players in the squad will be able to show the others how to cope with the disappointment of being denied a trophy that virtually had their name written on it.)
German tabloid Bild believed victory was such a forgone conclusion, however, that they published the provocative image above, showing their "exclusive" scoop of the Italian formation on their plane ride home. "We wish them a good journey home," reads the sarcastic caption.
For some reason, this image is no longer visible on the Bild website.
Bild weren't the only publication guilty of excessive conceit though, as the Hamburger Morgen Post used their front cover to accessorize a pepperoni pizza with the faces of some Azzurri stars...
The public-transport-pun headline reads "End of the line for Pizza" while the subhead snarks: "11 reasons why we will polish off the Italians tonight." Presumably, the only thing the Morgen Post is eating now is their own words.
The German tabloid media is unlikely to learn a lesson from their collective folly, but at least they didn't take things as far as the Greeks.
Previously in arrogant European newspapers: Swedish paper predicts English headlines after Sweden win, gets it very wrong