News / Europe

Ecstatic Crowds Welcome German World Cup Team Home

  • Soccer fans cheer the German national soccer team during celebrations to mark the team's 2014 Brazil World Cup victory, at the Fan Mile public viewing zone, in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
  • Germany's national soccer team player Sami Khedira lifts up the World Cup trophy on stage during celebrations to mark the team's 2014 Brazil World Cup victory, at the Fan Mile public viewing zone in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
  • Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer jumps in the air during celebrations to mark the team's 2014 Brazil World Cup victory, at the Fan Mile public viewing zone, in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
  • Germany's head coach, Joachim Loew (center) and members of Germany's 2014 Brazil World Cup team wave to fans during celebrations to mark the team's victory, at the Fan Mile public viewing zone, in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
  • German soccer players wave to their supporters from a stage during celebrations to mark the team's 2014 Brazil World Cup victory, at the Fan Mile public viewing zone in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
  • Members of the German soccer team wave to fans, in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
  • A German soccer fan poses for a photo with a replica of the World Cup trophy as he waits at the Berlin Tegel Airport to welcome the German national soccer team, in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger kisses the trophy during the German soccer team's World Cup victory celebration, in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
  • The German national soccer team members Lukas Podolski (right), Per Mertesacke (left) and Thomas Mueller, celebrate in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of jubilant Germans welcomed their triumphant national soccer team home in Berlin on Tuesday, waving flags and wearing the national colors as they basked in the nation's fourth World Cup victory.

Landing at the capital's Tegel airport, captain Philipp Lahm led the team down the plane's stairs holding above his head the golden trophy secured in Sunday's final, with midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger close behind him wrapped in a German flag.

Nearly half a million revellers packed Berlin's "fan mile'', a 1.3 km stretch of road running from the west of the capital up to the iconic Brandenburg Gate, for a massive party. Many more lined the streets in the city centre along the team's route.

German soccer fans watch the 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match between Germany and Ghana at a public viewing zone called 'fan mile' in Berlin, June 21, 2014.
German soccer fans watch the 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match between Germany and Ghana at a public viewing zone called 'fan mile' in Berlin, June 21, 2014.

Fans in Germany shirts, many with their faces painted in black, red and gold and some wearing wigs and bandanas in the national colors, had started drinking beer hours before the team's touchdown.

"It's an amazing atmosphere, it doesn't get any better than this,'' said Lukas Klein, 19, who drove through the night from the northern city of Bremen to be in Berlin. He told his boss he was sick.

A roar went up from the crowd when the team's plane circled overhead, and the fans counted down from 10 to its touchdown on the tarmac. "Football's coming home!'' they bellowed.

"I am really excited to welcome the world cup winners during my lifetime. I am from East Germany and this is important,'' said Guenther Richter, 51, from East Berlin.

Sunday's 1-0 victory over Argentina in Rio de Janeiro marked the first time a reunified Germany has been world champion, with West Germany having won the trophy in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

Television channels blanketed the airwaves with coverage and newspapers dedicated whole editions to the victory.

"This is what four feels like!'' splashed top-selling Bild on its front cover, with a picture of the team with their hands raised. Underneath it described what it considered the four attributes of the team: self-confident, together, fierce, modern.
 

German soccer players Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm, Lars Bender, Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos (L-R) walk with the World Cup trophy at Tegel airport in Berlin, July 15, 2014.
German soccer players Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm, Lars Bender, Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos (L-R) walk with the World Cup trophy at Tegel airport in Berlin, July 15, 2014.

Germany snatched the win in extra time with a stunning goal  from fresh-faced Mario Goetze, the nation's 22-year-old boy wonder.

The crowds chanted Goetze's name along with that of Schweinsteiger, who got a battering during the final match and ended up with a bloody cut under his eye.

"Welcome, World Champions!'' Berliner Zeitung splashed on its front page.

Even the usually sober Handelsblatt business daily ran a picture on its front page of coach Joachim Loew, affectionately known as Jogi, under the headline "Model Germany''.

The success of the national team since 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup, is widely seen as having helped Germans take greater pride in their nationality, which their history had previously made them uncomfortable about displaying. 

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs