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Germany throws giant homecoming party for World Cup heroes

Date

Berlin

Germany's midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, defender Shkodran Mustafi, goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, midfielder Andre Schuerrle and defender Erik Durm arrive for a victory parade at Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday.

Germany's midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, defender Shkodran Mustafi, goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, midfielder Andre Schuerrle and defender Erik Durm arrive for a victory parade at Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Hundreds of thousands of jubilant fans massed at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday to cheer the World Cup winners and new national heroes bringing home football's top prize for the first time to a reunified Germany.

The flag-waving crowd, which began gathering before dawn, erupted in applause under warm summer sunshine when the triumphant players arrived from Rio de Janeiro.

Germany coach Joachim Loew told more than 250,000 supporters at the so-called Fan Mile stretching behind the Gate, the symbol of national unity, that they shared the title with his players.

Germany's captain Philipp Lahm holds the World Cup trophy as the team arrives in Berlin on Tuesday.

Germany's captain Philipp Lahm holds the World Cup trophy as the team arrives in Berlin on Tuesday. Photo: AP

"We are all world champions," he said. "Of course we are all overjoyed now to be with the fans."

Captain Philipp Lahm hoisted the World Cup trophy to a giant roar from the crowd.

"What a mood here, thanks so much to everyone," Lahm said as he passed the golden statuette to his fellow players.

Team members wearing black shirts emblazoned with the number one took the stage in groups to greet ecstatic supporters.

They carried a long banner reading "Obrigado Fans", "thank you" in Portuguese in a nod to tournament hosts Brazil, and "the fourth title is ours".

Mario Goetze, who scored the only goal in Sunday's nail-biter final against Argentina, called the Mannschaft's win "a dream".

"We played an amazing tournament," he said. "It's an incredible feeling."

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger appeared with the black, red and gold German flag draped from his shoulders, with a bandage still affixed below his eye from an injury he suffered in a clash during the final.

The players jumped and danced in a raucous circle on the stage, singing "this is how the Germans win, this is how the Germans win".

The team arrived in the late morning at Berlin's Tegel Airport on a Lufthansa jet rebranded "Fanhansa" for the occasion on one side and "Victors' Plane" on the other, with thousands of fans waiting on a viewing platform.

"This is a historic event," said 34-year-old bus driver Bernd Hesse, who followed all the matches in Brazil on the radio when he was behind the wheel.

He noted that fans had waited 24 years to bask in the glory of a World Cup victory, the first since the reunification of the country following three wins by the former West Germany.

"It's not every day that you get to see something like this," he said.

Lydia Lampa, a 28-year-old advertising executive, stopped by the airport with a friend on her way to work.

Wearing a Germany jersey adorned with the coveted fourth star for the latest World Cup win and a Hawaiian-style garland of plastic flowers in the national colours, she said she had watched every World Cup match featuring the Mannschaft.

"This is my way of saying thank you," she said. "All the games were exciting and I wanted to see the players at least once live. I had a good feeling from the start of the tournament and I thought, 'OK, this time we're going to win'."

Fans had lined the team's route as black buses ferried the players to central Berlin from the airport, while construction workers waved from scaffoldings and dozens of cyclists followed the motorcade, their bicycles draped with Germany banners.

Players tweeted photos of the fans, with Mesut Oezil writing "What a crowd! Unbelievable!"

Supporters on the Fan Mile sang "this is what victors look like" under a sea of German flags, which rarely make an appearance outside major sporting events in the country in deference to its militaristic past.

Ulrich Felgentreff said he was born in 1954, the first year West Germany won the World Cup - just nine years after the horrors of World War II, as the country was gradually rejoining the community of nations.

"Everyone has an immense feeling of pride," he said, decked out with his family in black, red and gold. "And that pride grows title by title."

By contrast, 18-year-old fan Sven Engel was not even born the last time West Germany won.

"Germany deserves this title, they were much stronger than the other teams," Engel said.

"But the Brazil match was still the best," he said, referring to the jaw-dropping 7-1 thrashing of the hosts during the semi-final.

The championship has bolstered an already upbeat national mood, with the German economy humming and popular Chancellor Angela Merkel at the helm of a stable government.

The German media ran banner headlines and even normally staid business daily Handelsblatt joined in the celebrations.

It quoted the head of Germany's top bank Deutsche Bank, Juergen Fitschen, singing the national side's praises.

"The German team embodies many of the qualities that typify Germany today: commitment, discipline, technical skill and tactical know-how," he said.

AFP

Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

Round 1
Fri, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs NEW Stats
SYD 1 vs HRT 1 Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Stats
BRI 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
SYD 3 vs WSW 2 Stats
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 2 Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5 vs HRT 2 Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4 vs NEW 1 Stats
ADE 2 vs PER Stats
Wed, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs NEW 1 Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2 vs CCM Stats
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL Stats
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs BRI 1 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WSW Stats
ADE vs SYD Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs VIC 2 Stats
BRI 1 vs HRT 3 Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 1 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 4 Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
SYD vs VIC Stats
PER 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
HRT 2 vs CCM 2 Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs BRI Stats
PER 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
HRT 1 vs SYD 2 Stats
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 2 Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 3 vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs PER 1 Stats
WSW 1 vs SYD 1 Stats
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 5 vs HRT 1 Stats
NEW 1 vs CCM 1 Stats
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Round 9
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD 1 vs PER 2 Stats
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 3 Stats
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1 vs WEL 3 Stats
ADE 2 vs WSW Stats
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs BRI Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 1 Stats
PER 2 vs NEW Stats
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs CCM 1 Stats
VIC 3 vs SYD 3 Stats
Wed, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 3 vs HRT 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs VIC Stats
PER 4 vs CCM 1 Stats
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 2 Stats
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs WSW 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs PER 1 Stats
SYD vs ADE 3 Stats
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM 3 vs BRI 3 Stats
VIC 1 vs NEW Stats
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WSW Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs HRT 5 Stats
BRI vs SYD Stats
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs WEL 3 Stats
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM Stats
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs PER 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW Stats
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL 3 vs BRI Stats
CCM 2 vs HRT Stats
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs VIC 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE 7 vs NEW Stats
CCM 1 vs SYD 5 Stats
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER 3 vs VIC 3 Stats
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Mon, 02 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI 3 vs WEL 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1 vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM 2 vs ADE 1 Stats
VIC 3 vs HRT Stats
PER 1 vs SYD 3 Stats
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WSW 2 vs WEL Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs HRT Stats
NEW 1 vs WSW 1 Stats
SYD 3 vs VIC 3 Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs PER 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD 4 vs CCM 2 Stats
ADE 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL 2 vs NEW 2 Stats
HRT vs PER Stats
Wed, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs VIC 19:40Suncorp Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT 3 vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM Stats
WSW 3 vs SYD 4 Stats
PER 2 vs BRI 2 Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL 3 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 1 Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL 2 vs ADE Stats
VIC 1 vs PER 1 Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs HRT Stats
BRI 1 vs WSW Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs CCM 1 Stats
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs VIC 3 Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
HRT 4 vs NEW Stats
PER 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 5 vs BRI 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs HRT 1 Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs NEW 2 Stats
ADE 2 vs VIC 2 Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs PER 1 Stats
BRI 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs CCM 1 Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs BRI Stats
PER 3 vs WSW 2 Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 15:00Westpac Stadium
NEW vs ADE 17:00Hunter Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs CCM 20:00Suncorp Stadium
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs HRT 19:40Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 19:30Allianz Stadium
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs VIC 17:00Westpac Stadium
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PER 17:00Hunter Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs NEW 19:40AAMI Park
PER vs SYD 21:45nib Stadium
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE vs BRI 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs WSW 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
HRT vs WEL 17:00AAMI Park
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs CCM 17:30Westpac Stadium
NEW vs SYD 19:45Hunter Stadium
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs ADE 17:00Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs VIC 19:30Suncorp Stadium
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs HRT 17:00nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:40Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs PER 17:00Pirtek Stadium
ADE vs HRT 19:30Coopers Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs SYD 15:00Westpac Stadium
VIC vs CCM 17:00AAMI Park
View All Fixtures
Round 28
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
View All Fixtures
Round 29
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 16:00TBC
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Round 30
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 16:00TBC
View All Fixtures
Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
Overall standings
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Wellington Phoenix 23 13 7 14 42
Melbourne Victory 22 11 3 19 41
Sydney FC 23 11 4 12 41
Perth Glory 23 11 4 8 41
Adelaide United 22 11 7 12 37
Melbourne City FC 23 9 8 0 33
Brisbane Roar 22 7 11 -6 25
Central Coast Mariners 23 4 11 -17 20
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