Berlin: “We are all world champions,” Joachim Loew, the coach behind Germany’s World Cup triumph who signed a new contract last October, told the crowd of thousands who welcomed the triumphant team home, on Tuesday.
“Of course, it was a long way to the title, and an incredibly tough one in the end. But, we are incredibly happy to be here with the fans now. Without you we would not be here,” Loew added.
The players danced and sang their way onto a stage at the Gate, a potent symbol of the Cold War, dressed in black T-shirts with the No.1 emblazoned on them and threw footballs into the crowd.
“We’re just mega-proud of this achievement, after standing here in 2006 and 2008 as third and then as second and now we’ve finally done it after this long journey, with this sensational team,” defender Per Mertesacker said.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil was delighted to touch down on home turf, saying on his Twitter account: “Back in the country of the world champions :) #DFBTeam #happy.”
Ozil tweeted again and posted some photographs as the bus moved by the River Spree. “What a crowd! unbelievable! #GER #Berlin #Fanmeile,” Ozil said on Twitter.
Andre Schurrle, who delivered the cross which led to Mario Gotze’s game-winning goal in the final, said: “It’s beautiful. It feels very good, it’s all gone perfectly for us.”
A roar went up from the crowd in the ‘fan mile’ when the team’s plane circled overhead. “Football’s coming home!” bellowed fans when it touched down at the airport.
“We all saw each other here in 2006. But now we’ve got the damned thing,” Bastian Schweinsteiger, who got a battering during the final match and ended up with a bloody cut under his eye, told the fans in the city centre.
Lucas Podolski posted a selfie with Schweinsteiger and the trophy. “The Cup is in Berlin!!!,” he tweeted.
The 22-year-old Goetze got a hero’s welcome when he danced onto the Berlin stage. “This is an unbelievable feeling. It’s a dream,” he beamed. Goetze also wrote on Twitter: “Wow, what’s going on here ... AMAZING!”
The president of the German Football Association (DFB) Wolfgang Niersbach was excited about the reception for the squad. Niersbach said: “This is a dream. Seeing this enthusiasm. I do not know what in our country more can trigger this sense of belonging as this World Cup. ”