No 2006-style reception for disappointed Germans

ERASMIA - Germany will not hang around to take in Sunday's World Cup final nor celebrate at home with fans in Berlin, a team spokesman said on Thursday.

Germany, who lost 1-0 to Spain in Wednesday's semi-final, face Uruguay in the third place playoff in Port Elizabeth on Saturday and then plan to fly back to Germany on Sunday evening, press spokesman Harald Stenger told reporters.

Although no exact time was given for their departure it is likely the squad will be in the air when the rest of the world is watching the final between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

What is certain is there will be no welcome home party at the Brandenburg Gate - unlike the reception the team were given after their semi-final loss to Italy four years ago in Germany.

"The big objective this time was to go further than third place," said captain Philipp Lahm.

"We know the euphoria back home, we soaked that up and used it to motivate ourselves, and we thank our supporters for everything but this time it wouldn't fit, it just wouldn't be appropriate," he said.

The squad received calls of consolation from Chancellor Angela Merkel and president Christian Wulff.

Assistant coach Hansi Flick said it was likely a number of players who had been restricted to the bench would play in the third-place game given the short gap after the Spain match.

Fullback Lahm added that Germany would do their best to replicate their success in beating Portugal in the third-place game in 2006 when they hosted the finals.

"Four years ago, we realised how nice that game can be. In the past, to be honest, it was of little interest to anyone and frankly I never even watched those games as a kid.

"But winning that game can be a consoling end to the tournament. If (world governing body) FIFA organise it, you want to win it and get the bronze medal," he said.

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