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Loew: 'We are all world champions'

Around a million jubilant Germans welcomed their triumphant side home to Berlin yesterday, many waving flags and banners saying "We are all World Champions!" as they basked in the team's fourth World Cup victory.

Supporters welcome home their triumphant national team yesterday by holding their smartphones in the air and taking pictures of the trundling open-top bus. Picture: Michael Sohn/PA
Supporters welcome home their triumphant national team yesterday by holding their smartphones in the air and taking pictures of the trundling open-top bus. Picture: Michael Sohn/PA

Hundreds of thousands of revellers packed Berlin's "fan mile", a 1.3km stretch of road running from the west of the capital up to the Brandenburg Gate, for a huge party. Many more lined the streets in the city centre along the team's route. The players danced and sang their way on to a stage at the Gate dressed in black T-shirts with the No.1 emblazoned on them and threw footballs into the crowd.

"Without you we wouldn't be here. We are all world champions," Joachim Loew, the head coach, told the fans.

A black open-roofed bus drove the players who held up the golden World Cup trophy, through the streets of Berlin. One group of players drew attention for poking fun at their defeated opponents by stooping low and chanting "This is how Gauchos walk, Gauchos they walk like this", before jumping up to shout: "This is how Germans walk, Germans they walk like this!"

Captain Philipp Lahm had earlier led the team down the plane's stairs holding above his head the golden trophy, with midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger close behind him wrapped in a German flag.

"We all saw each other here in 2006. But now we've got the damned thing," Schweinsteiger, who got a battering during the final and ended up with a cut under his eye, told the fans in the city centre.

Germany snatched the win in extra time with a stunning goal from Mario Goetze, who got a hero's welcome when he danced on to the Berlin stage.

"This is an unbelievable feeling. It's a dream," he beamed.

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