Germany's World Cup winners party in Berlin
AFP/DPA/The Local · 15 Jul 2014, 17:20
Published: 15 Jul 2014 08:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jul 2014 17:20 GMT+02:00
- Three killed during World Cup celebrations (14 Jul 14)
- Germany basks in World Cup glory (14 Jul 14)
- Löw: This is just the start for German team (14 Jul 14)
Coach Joachim Löw told the crowd celebrating his team's victory at the Brandenburg Gate that they shared the title with his players.
"We are all world champions," he said after the team's triumphant arrival from Rio de Janeiro. "We are all overjoyed now to be with the fans," he added.
Captain Philipp Lahm hoisted the World Cup trophy to a giant roar from the crowd.
"What a mood here, thanks so much to everyone," Lahm said as he passed the golden trophy to his fellow players.
Team members wearing black shirts emblazoned with the number one took to the stage in groups at 1pm to greet ecstatic supporters.
They carried a giant banner reading "Obrigado Fans" - "thank you" in Portuguese in a nod to tournament hosts Brazil - and "the fourth title is ours".
"I remember every World Cup win: 1954, 1974, 1990,” said fan Frieda, 68. “I wanted to see how the young people celebrate here."
Mario Götze, who scored the only goal in Sunday's nail-biter final against Argentina, called the Mannschaft's win "a dream".
"We played an amazing tournament," he said. "It's an incredible feeling."
PHOTO GALLERY: Berlin welcomes World Cup winners
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger appeared with the German flag draped from his shoulders, with a plaster still affixed below his eye from an injury he suffered in a clash during the final.
The players jumped and danced in a raucous circle on the stage, singing "this is how the Germans win”.
Supporters on the Fan Mile by the Brandenburg Gate sang "This is what winners look like!" and waved German flags, which rarely make an appearance outside major sporting events in the country in deference to its past.
The capacity crowd erupted in cheers every time a group of players took the stage but were particularly jubilant for Löw, Götze and forward Miroslav Klose. The latter set a record by scoring his 16th World Cup goal in Brazil.
Crowds began forming in central Berlin before dawn and thousands more supporters gathered on a viewing platform under warm summer sunshine at Berlin's Tegel airport.
The crowd at the Fan Mile had erupted in applause after screens showed the team's plane arrive shortly after 10am.
The special Lufthansa plane, with the flight number 2014, was emblazoned with the slogans "Fanhansa" on one side and "Siegerflieger" (Victors' Plane) on the other.
Lahm was the first player to emerge, clutching the golden statuette and lifting it in the direction of applauding supporters.
Ecstatic fans lined the route as a black buses ferried the players to central Berlin, construction workers waved from building scaffoldings and dozens of cyclists followed the motorcade, their bicycles draped with Germany banners.
Once they arrived in the city centre, the players boarded an open-top truck and some sipped from beer bottles as they waved to the adoring masses.
Players tweeted photos of the fans, with Mesut Özil writing "What a crowd! Unbelievable!".
Germany fans had waited 24 years to bask in the glory of a World Cup victory, the first since the reunification of the country following three wins by the former West Germany.
The championship has bolstered an already upbeat national mood, with the German economy humming and popular Chancellor Angela Merkel at the helm of a stable government.
Follow how the day unfolded in our live blog. Scroll down to the bottom for the start.