German football team honoured

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

President Horst Koehler decorated Germany's World Cup squad with the country's highest sporting honor on Monday.

German football team honoured
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Berlin:

President Horst Koehler decorated Germany's World Cup squad with the country's highest sporting honor on Monday. Germany finished third at the tournament, triggering a wave of national euphoria and winning praise for its attacking style. "You developed a style on the field, and off it, which we had long missed and enthused us all," Koehler said before handing over the Silver Laurel Leaf decorations to the players at Berlin's Bellevue Palace. Most of the 23-strong squad turned up for the ceremony. However, captain Michael Ballack, who played for Chelsea in Cardiff, Wales, on Sunday, missed the ceremony. Former coach Juergen Klinsmann, the architect of Germany's World Cup run, also was missing. Klinsmann quit after the tournament and then announced that he would not attend the award ceremony. He said that "others should be the focus," with Germany's first match under his successor, Joachim Loew, coming up on Wednesday. "It's a shame that he is not here," Koehler said of Klinsmann. "He set in motion something truly great; he achieved in the space of two years - against a lot of resistance, we should not forget that - something that hardly anyone believed in before or would have thought was possible." (AP)

Topics : Football Germany
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