Germans return home to rapturous Berlin reception
WORLD CUP winners Germany touched down on home soil as they returned to Berlin with the much-coveted top prize in football.
Captain Philipp Lahm led his champions from the aircraft shortly after 10am local time, followed by Bastian Schweinsteiger who was wearing the German flag, and the team were greeted by excited fans trying to get a glimpse of the trophy as they made their way through the airport.
During their 11-hour flight it was reported in newspaper Bild that the Germany players managed to get some rest after partying on Monday to celebrate their fourth World Cup triumph following a reported two-hour delay after a baggage carrier had touched the plane.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil was delighted to touch down on home turf, and said on his Twitter account: "back in the country of the world champions :-) #DFBTeam #happy."
Thousands of supporters lined the Fan Mile in the centre of Berlin as the team and manager Joachim Loew, who were all dressed in identical winners T-shirts, took to an open-top truck to parade the World Cup trophy and show off their medals on their homecoming.
On the side of the black Mercedes truck was painted the years of Germany's triumphs at the biggest tournament in world football, "1954, 1974, 1990, 2014!"
The president of the German Football Association (DFB) Wolfgang Niersbach was excited about the reception for the squad and he said: "This is a dream. Seeing this enthusiasm. I do not know what in our country more can trigger this sense of belonging as this World Cup.
"Our players are looking forward incredibly to enjoy this moment."
The sea of fans were chanting for their heroes "Deutschland, Deutschland, Deutschland!" as the truck continued through the city streets with no sign of the road or pavements, just people celebrating as they made their way to the Brandenburg Gate. "It's beautiful. It feels very good, it's all gone perfectly for us," Andre Schurrle said.