Berlin: Germany's World Cup winners were given the Hollywood treatment for the premiere of a film celebrating their victory.
Players, coaching staff, football emissaries and invited guests gathered at glitzy Potsdamer Platz in Berlin yesterday to see "Die Mannschaft" (The Team), a film that reveals some of the more intimate details from the side's tournament success.
(L-R)Torwart Roman Weidenfeller, Shkodran Mustafi, Andre Schuerrle, Miroslav Klose, Mario Goetze, Toni Kroos celebrate. Pic/ Getty Images
"You will learn that you can only be successful as a team," coach Joachim Loew said on the red carpet, repeating the mantra that carried his side to victory in Brazil four months before.
The players arrived all wearing dark suits, shirts and ties - perhaps an attempt to help the golden trophy that they proudly carried shine even more.
Fans were lined up outside the cinema to greet the arrival of the players. Mario Goetze, whose goal in extra time in the final against Argentina secured the trophy, received the loudest screams from those who braved the November chill to collect autographs.
Christoph Kramer in particular was looking forward to seeing the film, in part because he couldn't remember the final after suffering a head injury during the game.
Before the film started, FIFA president Sepp Blatter paid tribute to Brazil for hosting "the best World Cup in years, despite all the negative things that were said before it." "As soon as the first ball was kicked, 200 million Brazilians were suddenly football fans again," Blatter said.
The film itself revealed small behind-the-scene details that helped contribute to Germany's fourth World Cup win - its first as a reunified country. Highlights included the very warmhearted welcome received from Brazilian kids on a school visit, Kramer singing "When You Say Nothing at All" to teammates (well before his head injury), and veteran striker Miroslav Klose revealing how he picked housemates for their tournament training camp: "For me it was important to have guys who went to bed early."
Thomas Mueller proved he is as much a joker off the pitch as on it after wearing a Dirndl, a traditional Bavarian dress, during the side's pre-tournament training camp after losing a bet. "I was betrayed," said Mueller, who also revealed that his apparent slip for a free kick against Algeria was part of a planned routine. The free kick was ultimately unsuccessful and only served to leave viewers scratching their heads.
The film builds on the team's carefully managed clean image, and there are no hints of any trouble, no in-fighting, no allusions to scandal or any gossip.
The film opens in cinemas across Germany on Thursday, when the country's football fans can relive their team's success all over again - this time through the team's eyes.
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