German Team Damages World Cup Trophy During Celebrations

German Soccer Team Wins World Cup
Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany holds the trophy after the 2014 World Cup final match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, on July 13, 2014. Photographer: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Germany’s soccer players raised the World Cup trophy a week ago in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium. Shortly afterward, they broke it.

German national team players chipped off a “small piece” of the trophy during celebrations of their overtime victory against Argentina, Wolfgang Niersbach, head of the country’s DFB soccer federation, told Der Spiegel.

“Don’t worry,” Niersbach was cited by the weekly magazine as saying. “We have specialists that can repair this.” He didn’t say when or how the trophy, a replica of the 18-carat gold original, was damaged.

FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, took the original from the Germans in their locker room after the award ceremony and replaced it with a gold-plated replica, Delia Fischer, a spokeswoman for the organization, said today by phone. The original cup, which contains 4.13 kilograms (146 ounces) of gold and bears the name of each winner since 1974, is back in a safe in Switzerland, she said.

German players, including the final’s only goalscorer, Mario Goetze, and defender Per Mertesacker posted pictures online handling the cup in the locker room, where Chancellor Angela Merkel was visiting. Singer Rihanna posted a photo holding the cup with striker Miroslav Klose laying his arm around her.

The Germans took the replica to Berlin to present it to an estimated 1 million soccer fans who attended a giant street party near the iconic Brandenburg Gate. The DFB didn’t immediately comment when contacted by phone and e-mail.

The original trophy lifted by Germany captain Philipp Lahm was produced by GDE Bertoni Srl, a family-owned company based in a Milan suburb that won a 1972 FIFA design contest among 53 bidders. The cup depicts two human figures holding up the Earth and was first awarded at the 1974 World Cup to German captain Franz Beckenbauer. Made with a malachite base, it weighs 6.18 kilograms (13.6 pounds) and stands 36.8 centimeters (14.5 inches) tall.

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