David Baddiel (left), with Three Lions co-writer Frank Skinner, after England beat Germany at Wembley in Euro 2020
David Baddiel has hit back at a US magazine as he insisted England anthem "Three Lions" is about "how we mainly lose".
The comedian issued a response to an article in New York Magazine, entitled "The National Psychodrama of England’s Euro 2020", after it attracted ridicule on social media.
In the article, the author wrote: "This mania, this undying belief that a postwar legacy of thwarted ambition and diminished stature will be purged in the ecstasy of a footballing triumph, has been captured in the now ubiquitous phrase ‘It’s coming home’."
The article claimed that the true message behind the anthem, written by Baddiel and Frank Skinner in 1996, was that "if England wins, soccer and all its attendant glories will have returned, at long last, to their proper place".
But Baddiel said the true theme of the song was about hope in the face of near-inevitable failure.
"It’s about how we mainly lose but still irrationally believe that this time, hope might triumph over experience," he wrote on Twitter. "It’s about yearning and magical thinking. It’s about the condition of being a football fan."
He added, however: "Admittedly people have taken FCH to mean all sorts of b——s."
The article also attracted criticism on social media for suggesting England’s Euro 2020 campaign was heading towards a "volcanic catharsis, more than a half-century in the making, whose shape is both impossible to predict and a little frightening to imagine".
It also claimed the England coach, Gareth Southgate, had emerged in recent weeks as "the country’s most prominent foil to Boris and his merry band of Brexiteers".
Perhaps the most egregious claim in the eyes of England fans, however, was the author’s description of midfielder Jack Grealish as a "B-list version of David Beckham" with "floppy hair, a goofy grin, and thighs the size of Iberico hams". "This is so wrong about everything," one fan wrote. "Grealish a cut-priced Beckham? Only if you’ve never watched either play."