Goetze goal dyes Rio statue

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iol spt pic Christ the Redeemer german colours AFP The statue of Christ the Redeemer is illuminated in the colours of Germany's national flag. Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA

Rio de Janeiro - As Germany players celebrated their World Cup win at Maracana stadium Sunday and waited to receive the trophy, Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue was lit in their colours of red, yellow and black.

All of Germany's bench burst onto the pitch in joy after substitute forward Mario Goetze, 22, scored the lone goal of the final against Argentina in the 23rd minute of extra time. The goal silenced thousands of Argentinian fans in Rio de Janeiro, and sent the less numerous German crowd into a loud frenzy.

Germany's players collapsed into a pile in midfield when referee Nicola Rizzoli blew his whistle to end the game. Coach Joachim Loew was beaming, as was former Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus, himself a world champion in 1990 with a win over Argentina in the final, in the stands.

Striker Andre Schuerrle shed tears of joy as he awaited the prizegiving ceremony. By the end of the game, Argentina star Lionel Messi also appeared to be close to tears, while the likes of Sergio Aguero, the injured Angel Di Maria and Lucas Biglia were crying.

The Argentinian squad stared blankly ahead as they waited for their medals, and coach Alejandro Sabella hugged Loew to congratulate him.

As has been the case whenever Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been shown on TV screens during the World Cup, she was resoundly booed by fans who also shouted insults at her during the game.

Critics of Rousseff again filled the silence that preceded the moment when Germany captain Philipp Lahm lifted the World Cup trophy, but the champions' shouts of joy and the subsequent fireworks soon came to her rescue.

With the trophy in their hands, Germany players sang along with their fans to the popular song An Tagen Wie Diesen (On days like these) by the German band Die Toten Hosen and danced on the pitch.

Meanwhile, Loew greeted his men's wives and girlfriends, as they waited on the substitutes' bench and a stadium camera was kitted out with a German flag.

As the music became softer, a smiling Goetze kissed the trophy, to seal his feat and unleash more private celebrations in the changing room.

Sapa-dpa


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