Germany snub fans

FRANKFURT - The German national team returned home early yesterday from a third-place finish at the World Cup, and the players went straight on holiday instead of saluting their fans.

FRANKFURT - The German national team returned home early yesterday from a third-place finish at the World Cup, and the players went straight on holiday instead of saluting their fans.

Their supporters were disappointed when the team said there would be no reception at the Berlin fan mile. Several hundred fans came to Frankfurt airport, but were snubbed by the players, who left through a side door after meeting mayor Petra Roth.

"They are not playing for themselves but for Germany," said an airport staffer, who also failed to get a glimpse of the players.

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger thanked the fans but was happy to go on holiday with the rest of the team.

Bayern Munich revelation Thomas Mueller was told on the flight from Johannesburg that he was the World Cup top scorer with five goals and three assists, as well as being named best young player of the tournament. - Sapa-DPA

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