The semi-final of tonight’s football doubles as the grand final of our Euro Car 2012, when the might of German engineering goes up against Italy’s “sexy” brand of automobile manufacturing.

Our teams are already on the pitch, and as the last rings of two particularly jaunty national anthems echo their way out of the ground, it’s time to kick off and find out just who will claim the title. Germany seizes the immediate advantage, boasting as it does some of the top talent from all over Europe through a series of partnerships and buyouts.

The Volkswagen Group owns, to name just a few; Seat from Spain; Czech makers Skoda; Scania from Sweden and, crucially, Italian-originated firm Lamborghini.

Such literal translation of Germany’s business dominance in Europe is yet another facet of their long-standing reputation.

There is no finer producer of cars than Italy when it comes to style and glamour; the likes of the Alfa Romeo have inspired manufacturers throughout the world with its influential design, while a fan of high-performance cars need look no further than Ferrari. The sheer elegance and flair of the products of its highly-lauded auto industry makes Italy an exceedingly difficult team to beat.

However, Germany’s contribution to the world of motoring in general will give it the edge. Lest we forget that the car as we know it today was invented by a gentleman by the name of Benz; as in Mercedes-Benz, a car company of almost as titanic sway on the continent as that of their big brother, Volkswagen. Mercedes-Benz is responsible for so many of the innovative new designs in the market today, not to mention the sheer volume of safety features that have since been adopted by any car company which wishes to make a product fit for the road. Without the airbag or the pre-tensioner (those gimmicksthat snap to lock when you tug on your seatbelt too hard), the very concept of the car would be completely different – and a whole lot more dangerous – than what we know of it today.

Italy may make a nice-looking car, but without the on-going financial and functional efforts of the German contingent – including a huge lead in pollution reduction – the car industry would be all the poorer. They cling to their early lead, and smash in another goal for good measure, meaning that Germany are the champions.