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Football: Germans party hard after booking Brazil berth

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Germany's stars partied until dawn after securing their World Cup berth with even coach Joachim Loew admitting to a cheeky pre-press conference beer following their win over Ireland.

Germany face Sweden away in their final World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, but his stars seized the opportunity by partying until 0430 on Saturday morning after Loew gave them the weekend off.

Germany booked their Brazil 2014 place with a 3-0 win over Republic of Ireland in Cologne on Friday with Brazilian music and a barrel of beer soon pumping out in the dressing room after the final whistle.

"It was the first time I drank a beer before a press conference, but it tasted good," quipped Loew.

There is only pride at stake on Tuesday with Germany confirmed Group C winners, while the second-placed Swedes face a World Cup play-off in November.

"We have earned the right to a bit of a party to celebrate," German captain Philipp Lahm of Bayern Munich said in Cologne.

"After all, a barrel of Cologne beer is about the same size as a (litre) mug of Bavarian beer."

Pictures of the partying German squad have found their way into German papers Bild and Cologne-based Express.

Comedian Oliver Pocher posted a picture of himself on Twitter with a group of players, including Arsenal star Per Mertesacker, alongside the text: "Already world champions in partying!"

The party spirit got the better of Loew, who rushed to congratulate his players after the final whistle rather than seeking out Ireland's caretaker coach Noel King for the customary hand shake.

Veteran Ireland striker Robbie Keane remonstrated with Loew on the Cologne sidelines after his faux pas.

Loew and his squad were swamped by well-wishers with Germany amongst the favourites to win the World Cup.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was one of the first to send a congratulatory text message to German Football Federabtion (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach as Germany qualified for their 18th World Cup.

"Of course, our goal has to be to finally win a big title and we'll give our all to make that happen," added Lahm, as Germany have reached at least the semi-finals at the last three World Cups.

"There will hopefully be a few more drinks in Brazil," said DFB boss Niersbach, who is hoping to extend Loew's contract -- which expires after the 2014 World Cup -- before the end of this month.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131013/football-germans-party-hard-after-booking-brazil-berth