What's buzzing:

Germany World Cup heroes return to huge fan party

The Associated Press
Germany World Cup heroes return to huge fan party
.

View gallery

BERLIN (AP) -- At a party 24 years in the making, hundreds of thousands of Germans showed their admiration and adoration for their World Cup winners at a victory parade to the Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday.

The players, in matching black T-shirts bearing ''1,'' lapped up the love by playing up to the estimated 400,000 people packing the ''fan mile'' in front of the Berlin landmark.

Fans began arriving overnight to secure good spots to welcome home coach Joachim Loew's team and the trophy. Germany's fourth World Cup, the first since 1990, crowned years of work by Loew to modernize the team, and followed near misses at recent tournaments.

''We're all world champions!'' Loew told the crowd.

''Of course, it was a long way to the title, and an incredibly tough one in the end. But we're incredibly happy to be here with the fans now.''

Mario Goetze, the scorer in the 1-0 win over Argentina in the final on Sunday, was greeted with deafening cheers by the sea of fans waving black, red and gold Germany flags.

Midfielder Toni Kroos led the crowd in a chant of ''Miro Klose'' - a tribute to veteran striker Miroslav Klose, whose two goals took his World Cup tally to 16 and made him the tournament's all-time leading scorer.

When the players emerged on stage to take their accolades, the fans welcomed each of them with a chant of ''football god'' - giving Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller, Goetze and Klose the loudest cheers.

''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.

There were problems with the sound, meaning most of the players' words were lost to the crowd. The supporters didn't mind, though, and cheered even louder as defender Jerome Boateng, back in his hometown, shouted: ''I can't hear you!''

The team plane landed at Tegel Airport in midmorning after flying low over the ''fan mile'' - which by then had been packed for hours.

Captain Philipp Lahm led the team off the aircraft holding the trophy aloft, to a chorus of ''Football's Coming Home'' from fans on the airport's viewing terrace.

He was followed by Schweinsteiger, draped in a German flag and sporting a bandage over a cut under his right eye, the result of a tackle in the final.

From the airport, the team set off on a two-hour trip to downtown Berlin in a bus painted with the years of Germany's World Cup victories: The previous occasions were in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

The team changed shirts and climbed aboard an open-top truck for the last part of the trip to the Brandenburg Gate, crawling through the crowds at snail's pace.

''It's indescribable,'' fan Till Uhlig from Hannover said of the crowds.

People traveled to the celebration from all over the country: ''They've all taken their holidays to come here. It's absolutely crazy,'' he said. ''We were behind the stage where the bus pulled up. Just incredible.

Berlin resident Katrin Fels, who brought her daughter, said: ''We knew it would happen. It was clear from the start of the year that we had the best team. It's perfect, perfect for all generations.''

----

Ciaran Fahey contributed to this report.

View Comments (29)
  • Malaga fights back to 2-2 at Espanyol in Spanish league

    Malaga scored in the 90th minute to complete its comeback from two goals down and draw 2-2 at Espanyol in the Spanish league on Friday. Gerard Moreno put Espanyol in control of the match with goals in the 27th and 61st minutes. Substitute striker … More »

    AP - Sports - 49 minutes ago
  • Barcelona star Arda Turan axed from Turkey's squad

    Barcelona star Arda Turan axed from Turkey's squad

    Among the fresh faces in a squad is teenage Manchester City forward Enes Unal. … More »

    TheJournal.ie - 1 hour 12 minutes ago
  • Impact-Toronto FC preview

    The rivalry between Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact might be the best in Major League Soccer. The cities, separated by about 330 miles of highway, have been rivals for generations on many levels, including hockey where the Toronto Maple Leafs … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 21 minutes ago
  • Earthquakes-Crew Preview

    The San Jose Earthquakes play at Columbus Crew SC on Saturday with only one win in 12 away games this season. "We definitely know we can go on the road and beat teams as long as we keep playing the way we've been playing," defender Shaun Francis … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 37 minutes ago
  • Lewandowski treble as six-goal Bayern rout Werder

    Lewandowski treble as six-goal Bayern rout Werder

    Robert Lewandowski's hat-trick helped give coach Carlo Ancelotti a flying start to his first Bundesliga campaign as Bayern Munich cruised to an easy 6-0 win over Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena on Friday. The champions went ahead with a stunning … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 42 minutes ago