The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Germany basks in 4th World Cup title after 24-year wait, prepares to welcome team home
BERLIN - It's been a long wait, and now Germany is basking in its fourth World Cup title.
The Die Welt newspaper celebrated Monday with a three-word headline in the national colours of black, red and gold that read simply: "It is true," while Der Spiegel magazine's website listed Germany's titles: "1954. 1974. 1990. 2014!"
Midfielder Mario Goetze, who wasn't born when Germany won its last World Cup, sealed the title with his extra-time goal. "THANK GOETZ! World champions!" screamed the mass-circulation daily Bild.
"Super Mario gets the fourth star!" read the headline in Berlin tabloid Berliner Kurier.
German astronaut Alexander Gerst congratulated the team from the International Space Station on its "top performance." He tweeted a picture of himself in a Germany jersey with an extra fourth star — "as experts on stars, we already got one."
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said after the match: "All of Germany is the world champion."
The theme was picked up by a top official in Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, Peter Tauber, who tweeted, "Good morning, you world champions out there!"
Merkel and President Joachim Gauck, who travelled together to the final in Rio de Janeiro, posed for pictures with the team and the trophy. And there was another selfie with a beaming chancellor for forward Lukas Podolski, weeks after Merkel dropped into the dressing room during a visit to Germany's opening match.
It's Germany's first World Cup title as a reunited nation, though that fact drew barely any attention in German media. West Germany's 1990 win came with the country just three months away from reunification; united Germany won the 1996 European Championship.
About a quarter of a million fans celebrated into the night at the packed "fan mile" in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, while car drivers blasted their horns into the early hours of the morning.
The party resumes on Tuesday morning, when coach Joachim Loew's team is due to land at Berlin's Tegel airport and then celebrate its triumph at the Brandenburg Gate.
The Finance Ministry said it will issue a special "Germany World Cup champion" postage stamp. But don't expect Germany to declare a national holiday in celebration.
"There is no serious discussion of this," government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said.
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