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Germans revel in first World Cup win in 24 years

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Mon, Jul 14, 2014 16:27 hrs
germany

Jubilant Germans celebrated in the streets on Sunday night, lighting fireworks, embracing strangers, honking car horns and reveling in their first World Cup win in 24 years.

Roars of delight soared from Berlin's massive fan zone, stretching 1.3 kilometers from the Brandenburg Gate, where 300,000 fans had braved torrential downpours and thunder storms to endure an agonizing 113 goalless minutes before a Mario Goetze volley gave Germany a fourth World Cup crown.

"This is such an awesome feeling. I'm overwhelmed. The team kept us waiting for that goal, but we won in the end and that's what matters," said 23-year-old Marcus Angrick from Bernau, outside Berlin.

"This team is so good, we won't have to wait another 24 years to win again."

Thousands of fans streamed down West Berlin's famous Kurfuerstendamm, waving flags and umbrellas after watching Germany become the first European team to lift the World Cup on South American soil.

On neighboring streets, cars revved loudly and honked horns, while girls in wigs with Germany colors and flags hung out of windows and rode on car roofs.

Others climbed lamp posts, toasting Germany's victory with beers and chanting, "Germany, Champions, Hallelujah!"

"1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014 -- we fought hard for our fourth win and it was totally deserved. Congratulations," tweeted Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert, referring to Germany's four World Cup titles. He had traveled with the chancellor to Rio de Janeiro for the final.

'TREMBLING AND SHAKING'

Crowds whooped with delight as they watched Merkel, nicknamed "Mutti" or 'mummy' in Germany, embrace each German player after the match.

"Yes, yes yes!!! Jogi you did it!! Huge compliment to Argentina but the best team won the 2014 World Cup!" tweeted U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann.

Klinsmann was Germany's manager during the 2006 World Cup, when current manager Joachim Loew, affectionately known as 'Jogi' in Germany, was his assistant.

"I'm really delighted," said 49-year-old Berlin nurse Simone Sieg, grinning because her name means 'victory' in Germany.

"I remember the last time Germany won the World Cup in 1990. I was watching at home in East Berlin. Germany hadn't even been reunited then.

"So much has changed about how we celebrate - it is wonderful."

Soccer and the success of the national team since the World Cup Germany hosted in 2006, is credited with allowing Germans to take pride in their nation and wave flags and paint their faces with unprecedented ease.

Previously Germans had been highly uncomfortable at any display of nationalism because of the country's history.

"It was an anxious game. I was trembling and shaking," German President Joachim Gauck, who had also traveled to Rio, told German television.

"But now I'm thrilled," he added.

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