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SBD Global/July 16, 2014/International Football

Germany Celebrates World Cup Heroes With About 1 Million Welcoming Team In Berlin

A whole country "welcomed its World Cup heroes," according to BILD. After a "night full of partying at the Sheraton hotel in Rio de Janeiro, the celebration moved to the 'fan mile' at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin." Several hundred thousand people "attended the fan mile and lined the streets along the bus route to celebrate the World Cup-winning team" (BILD, 7/15). REUTERS' Chambers & Nilsson reported "about a million jubilant Germans welcomed their triumphant" national football team home to Berlin on Tuesday, "many waving flags and banners saying 'We are all World Champions!' as they basked in the nation's fourth World Cup victory." Many fans "lined the streets in the city center along the team's route." German head coach Joachim Löw said, "Without you we wouldn't be here. We are all world champions." Many of the fans were holding red posters with the words "Thanks Boys." A black open-roofed bus "drove the players, who jumped, screamed, waved and held up" the World Cup trophy (REUTERS, 7/15). The SYDNEY MORNING HERALD reported the flag-waving crowd "erupted in applause after screens showed the flight bringing the triumphant players to the German capital from Rio de Janeiro touch down" shortly after 8:00am GMT. Crowds "began massing in central Berlin before dawn and thousands more supporters gathered on a viewing platform under warm summer sunshine at Tegel airport to meet the plane," a Lufthansa jet rebranded for the occasion "Fanhansa" on one side and "Victors' Plane" on the other. Captain Philipp Lahm "was the first player to emerge, clutching the golden FIFA trophy in one hand and lifting it in the direction of supporters" (SMH, 7/15).

PUT THE STAMP ON: The AFP reported officials said on Monday that Germany "will this week issue a World Cup victory postage stamp, five million of which were printed before the final was even held." Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said, "This year I dared to hope very early on that our team would take the title." The 60-cent stamp, marked "Germany Football World Champion 2014," will go on sale Thursday "after the first commemorative copies are presented to the coach, players and team staff." Graphic designer Lutz Menze said that "the image shows footballers running, but not their faces in order to honour the whole team, not an individual" (AFP, 7/15).
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