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Merkel praises diversity of national football team

Published: 21 Jun 2010 08:00 GMT+02:00

Merkel told ARD television on Sunday that the German side at the World Cup, in which 11 of the 23 players were born abroad or have immigrant parents, presented a more ethnically varied vision of the country than is often seen.

"It is an example of how role models can be created - role models for our whole country," she said. "For those who are of German origin just as much as for those who want to integrate."

She noted that the ratio of immigrants on the German team was higher than in the country as a whole "but those are our shared idols."

Since Germany hosted the last World Cup in 2006, the chancellor has attended a host of matches, both domestic and international, to support the home side.

Polish-born Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose scored the first two goals in Germany's 4-0 drubbing of Australia in their opening World Cup match last Sunday and Brazil-born Cacau came off the bench for a third. Mesut Özil, whose parents hail from Turkey, has taken over a key role in Germany's midfield.

But Germany slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Serbia on Friday and must now beat Ghana on Wednesday to reach the knock-out phase.

Your comments about this article

08:47 June 21, 2010 by West_Indian
What about Cacau's goal? Cacau was born in Brazil.
09:33 June 21, 2010 by moistvelvet
So in other words she means that like certain areas of industry such as IT, Germany is reliant on foreign workers for growth and success.

Personally the degree of acceptance of foreign nationals in Germany was made pretty clear to me on Friday when several Germans expressed their feelings because we were not supporting Germany, "why don't you go home". With attitudes like that and general treatment of foreigners it isn't any wonder why integration is difficult.
09:41 June 21, 2010 by auniquecorn
"Chancellor Angela Merkel has hailed the diverse German national football team as a force for acceptance of immigrants and integration of foreigners in the country."

Until they loose the World cup, Then she´ll be wining that there´s to many auslanders.
12:00 June 21, 2010 by Johnne
I think it´s a good thing, even Jerome Boateng & Dennis Aogo are sons of Ghanaian & Nigerian immigrants repectively, Sami Khedira has a Tunisian background as well..his father is a Tunisian immigrant. Keep it up DFB afterall I always say it that this country is multi-cultural, you just don´t see it because of some bad elements and slow pace of migrants intergration programmes. Multi-culturaism in Germany showing it´s face..I wish the team success in this World Cup.
14:34 June 21, 2010 by trevzns
When has Germany and Europe not been multi-cultural?

The Multi-culture face in Germany is part of German and European history.

African¦#39;s and African descendants in Germany is as old as the people who migrated and settled Europe.

¦quot;why dont you go home¦quot; Ignorance and Envy is an insidious social disease.

I believe most Africans and African descendants know their heritage and Africa is home.
19:42 June 21, 2010 by derExDeutsche
something about this statement creeps me out a little bit. it just sounds so much like something a Dictator might say. Like someone very proud of their accomplishments.

Not to say its a bad thing that Germany is Diverse. I love everybody, except the PROGRESSIVE CIVIL DISOBEDIENT MARXIST BIGGER GOVERNMENT TERRORIST SYMPATHIZER types. And most of those are privileged middle to upper class Rheinrassige German kids anyway.
00:40 June 22, 2010 by wetdawg~
Brilliant praise~they are all men!
05:43 June 22, 2010 by Nur Ainne Johar
Who cares where you originally come from? I don't care, as long as you are trying to be the best citizen as you could, everyone deserves the acknowlegment.

And helllooo....duhhh these brave players are soooooo going to be germany people's warriors at the World Cup 2010. And I'm proud to say, I'm Ainne all the way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is so proud with these guys, in the name of sport spirit. I just can't wait to see them rocking at the final! :)
12:15 June 22, 2010 by derExDeutsche
would she have been more proud if they were more black? brown? green? 'what'? would she have turned off the tv if they happened to be all white? would she have been embarrassed? Would be nice to ask the Chancellor what what ratio her 'favorite' is.
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