BERLIN - Germany coach Joachim Loew told hundreds of thousands of jubilant fans in Berlin Tuesday celebrating his team's World Cup victory that they shared the title with his players.
"We are all world champions," he said at a massive street party at the capital's Brandenburg Gate after the team's triumphant arrival from Rio de Janeiro. "Of course we are all overjoyed now to be with the fans," he added, as the capacity crowd at the so-called Fan Mile venue behind the landmark symbol of national unity waved black, red and gold German flags.
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 giant 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 extra-time victory against Argentina earned a fourth title for a German team and the first for the country since national reunification in 1990.