Germans basked in World Cup glory again when the national team was honoured before attending the premiere of the official movie about their triumph in Brazil in July.
Players, coaching staff, football emissaries and invited guests gathered at glitzy Potsdamer Platz in Berlin to see Die Mannschaft (The Team), a film that reveals some of the more intimate details from the side's World Cup success, its first as a reunified country.
President Joachim Gauck, joined by Chancellor Angela Merkel, awarded the players the Silver Laurel Leaf, the country's highest sports award for what was Germany's fourth World Cup crown.
"All of us in Germany felt as if we were World champions," Gauck told the players before they received their awards.
"We can be happy that no one is envying our title and the world is happy with us."
Germany lifted the trophy after beating Argentina 1-0 in extra-time in the final following their historic 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil in the semis.
"Many of us are not here for the first time," World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm said in his address at Bellevue Palace.
"But it is something special to have brought the trophy with us this time."
The 21 players, with Andre Schuerrle and Julian Draxler missing, and coaches were then whisked off to another red-carpet occasion as the city celebrated 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall which eventually led to Germany's reunification.
"You will learn that you can only be successful as a team," coach Joachim Loew said.
They attended the premiere of the The Team, the movie detailing their run to the world title with inside glimpses into how the team lived the experience.
One of them was Thomas Mueller's trip and fall during a free-kick in the knockout-stage win over Algeria. It was a routine practised over and over again by the Germans which just did not work right on the day.
But more than showing private moments of the players at their seaside camp in northern Brazil, the film highlighted the team spirit that was forged during the six weeks of preparations and competition.
Revenues from the movie will be used for charitable projects, the German Football Association (DFB) said.
Image: The German national team poses with President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and the World Cup trophy on the steps of the the presidential Bellevue palace in Berlin. The German national soccer team received the Silberne Lorbeerblatt (Silver Bay Laurel Leaf) the highest sport award endowed by the German President on Monday.
Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters