Germany's Klinsmann welcomes patriotic support
13 June 2006, BERLIN - Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann Tuesday welcomed the wave of support for the host team at the World Cup saying it was nice to see the patriotic waving of the German flag.
13 June 2006
BERLIN - Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann Tuesday welcomed the wave of support for the host team at the World Cup saying it was nice to see the patriotic waving of the German flag.
"We have been following the pictures on TV screens and what is happening in the cities, the World Cup parties and the identification with Germany and the team," he said.
"It's great. It's wonderful to see cars with flags driving through the streets. It is something which unites us and one should enjoy it.
"We want to contribute our part by playing good and successful football. If a little bit more patriotism comes into it that's super. We think it's great."
Defender Christoph Metzelder had welcomed patriotic support as one of the keys of a successful World Cup for the host nation.
The German players linked arms for the first time when the national anthem was played ahead of Friday's opening match against Costa Rica in Munich. Metzelder suggested spectators at the next game, against Poland in Dortmund on Wednesday, could follow suit.
Open displays of patriotism are often shunned in Germany in view of its involvement in two world wars in the last century.
But Metzelder said patriotic gestures such as the flying of German flags during the tournament "is a development which, despite what has happened in our country in the past, has long been overdue".
The mass-circulation Bild newspaper had questioned captain Michael Ballack's patriotic fervour by picturing him wearing a T-shirt bearing an Italia logo.
Klinsmann said people should remain relaxed.
"I don't think there is a problem if you wear a T-shirt bearing the name of another nation," he said.
"What's nice to see is that people identify with this German team and have a common dream and want it to go as far as possible, if possible to the final."
The California-based coach added: "I know from the United States it is much more extreme. On US independence day on July 4 every house hangs out a flag. It is nice. I then hang up the German flag."
Subject: German news