Germany's World Cup squad will break with recent tradition and not go through with a parade in Berlin because in their minds it has failed to achieve its aim at the finals, captain Philipp Lahm said on Thursday.
The Bayern Munich defender — who has been an inspirational captain in the absence of the injured Michael Ballack — said the players appreciated the support they had received back in Germany but felt the 1-0 defeat by Spain in the semifinals was not worthy of a parade.
The Germans did go through with parades after they finished third as hosts in 2006 and then after they lost 1-0 to Spain in the Euro 2008 final.
“The goal of this team was better than ending up playing for third place,” said Lahm, who was in tears after the defeat.
“We are conscious of what was going on in Germany during the tournament, we would like to thank our supporters for all their support, but it wouldn't be appropriate, I find, to come to Berlin for what at best would be to celebrate a bronze medal.”
The squad and coaching staff are due to leave South Africa prior to the final on Sunday less than 24 hours after they play Uruguay in the third place match in Port Elizabeth.
On their arrival at Frankfurt airport they will be free to disperse and go on holiday.
“That will have been nine weeks we have been together and working hard, the players deserve to be able to have some rest,” said German assistant coach Hansi Flick, who may not have as much time off as he and with the rest of the coaching staff, including coach Joachim Loew, have to hold talks with the German Football Federation (DFB) over new contracts as the old ones ran out on June 30. — AFP