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Germany has won the World Cup 2014 – an impressive success honored with a special stamp

Germany has won the World Cup 2014 – an impressive success honored with a special stamp
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Germany was so confident it would win the World Cup that it pre-printed a run of five million stamps commemorating its soccer victory before the final game even took place.

Just hours after Germany's victory in Rio de Janeiro, the German Finance Ministry presented a new stamp honoring the new World Cup champions on Monday.

German Finance Ministry spokeswoman Marianne Kothe said of the decision to print the stamps in advance: "We always firmly believed in a success of the German team."

The 60-cent stamps will go on sale nationwide on Thursday. Commemorative stamps for sporting events have a long tradition in Germany, with recent stamps marking the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and the Women's World Cup in Germany in 2011.

In Brazil, German players celebrated their World Cup victory late into the night, ahead of their flight back to Berlin for a planned victory lap with the trophy and thousands of fans in Berlin on Tuesday morning.

On Sunday evening, there were hugs all round from the usually-reticent Chancellor Angela Merkel after Germany took the World Cup trophy for the fourth time since 1954, and national players posed for selfies with the German leader, including Sami Khedira and Lukas Podolski.

"There was a fabulous atmosphere in the dressing room," Ms. Merkel said Monday via her spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz.

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