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Stunned, euphoric Germany hurtle to final

AFP/The Local · 9 Jul 2014, 10:54

Published: 09 Jul 2014 08:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Jul 2014 10:54 GMT+02:00

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Almost all German fans The Local talked to in Berlin on Wednesday morning were still a bit shocked by their team's victory the night before.
"It was wonderful," said Kerstin, 34, from Berlin. "I did not expect that at all."
Paul, 22, who has just moved to Berlin from Los Angeles, watched the game in a bar in Berlin's Neukölln district. "I thought it was almost an unfair match. It was like the Brazilians didn't have a backbone."
Ellen, 64, agreed. "I felt unspeakably sorry for the losers when they all cried, especially the children. But I'm happy for our boys, of course," she said.
Only shop owner Kurt, 46, was not surprised. He had watched the match in a bar in Eberswalder Straße in the Prenzlauer Berg area of the city. "Nobody there expected this result but me," he said. "I expected a 5-0 for Germany," he added.
'Victory for eternity'
“A victory for eternity,” trumpeted Bild newspaper, while Welt newspaper was simply agog in its reaction to Tuesday evening’s match, leading coverage with “Unbelievable, inconceivable, incomprehensible”.
"What was that? Hard to believe," added former West Germany captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer in stunned reactions that poured in from around the globe.
"In nigh-on half a century of watching football, that's the most extraordinary, staggering, bewildering game I've ever witnessed," tweeted former England striker Gary Lineker.

But now having more than hit their stride after misfiring in earlier games, German coach Joachim Löw’s team has no time to rest on their laurels. Even in the aftermath of the Brazil rout, they stressed that their only focus is now on winning Sunday's final.
"Everyone did their jobs incredibly well and with total concentration," said the 54-year-old Löw. "We played well going forward and combined superbly."
But the coach said the Germans must stay humble despite inflicting Brazil's record international defeat on the hosts.
"A bit of humility would also be very good and we need to be careful that we stay concentrated on Sunday."
Germany will now travel to Rio for their eighth World Cup final having avenged their 2-0 defeat to Brazil in the 2002 final in emphatic style.
They will face either the Netherlands or Argentina in Sunday's final at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium, which was their immediate concern in the wake of their stunning semi-final win in Belo Horizonte.
"We played an unbelievable game - respect, but another game is yet to come," said man-of-the-match Toni Kroos after Brazil suffered their worst international defeat. "We have come here to be world champions and we're not there yet.
Story continues below…
Centre-back Mats Hummels said the German dressing room in Belo Horizonte was eerily quiet after the final whistle and there is a determination to realize the dream of a fourth title.
"It was astoundingly quiet in the dressing room, but that was easy to explain as we knew we had the game won with an hour to play, not wishing to sound arrogant," he said.
"So there wasn't much emotion after the final whistle.
"This is really something special, especially when you think what each individual has done. Now we will try to give everything to make our big dream come true."
President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel will both travel to the final.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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