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Fans party as Germany makes final four

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Fans party as Germany makes final four
Photo: DPA
08:10 CEST+02:00
Tens of thousands of Germans celebrated deep into the night on Thursday after their football team upset Portugal to reach the semifinals of Euro 2008.

From reserved Hamburg in the north, to classy Munich in the south, to bohemian Berlin, fans took to the streets honking their car horns and setting off firecrackers following an exciting 3-2 win by Die Mannschaft, which has won the European football title three times in the past.

Berlin's Kurfürstendamm boulevard became so choked it was temporarily shut down for traffic before ending up a big street party. There were also frenzied celebrations on the central Potsdamer Platz square.

In Hamburg, some 35,000 fans watched the match on the Heiligen-Geist field and then partied peacefully late into the night.

Even smaller German towns erupted with celebrations – in Heilbronn around 5,000 fans formed a massive car convoy in the centre of town that was eventually led onto side streets by the police.

Many Germans, thousands of whom have hung national flags from their window sills, had all but written off their side against the stylish Portuguese after Germany managed a bare minimum 1-0 win over neighbours Austria in their final group game.

But led by the combative Michael Ballack and Bastian Schweinsteiger the Germans pulled off a deserved win. Now, fans who are hoping they can go all the way and win their first trophy in 12 years.

In Berlin and numerous other towns, Turkish flags are also hanging from windows given Germany's sizeable Turkish community. If the Turks can see off Croatia in their quarterfinal on Friday they will meet the Germans in the semis on June 25 in Basel, Switzerland.

afp/ddp

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