Algeria made it out of the World Cup group stage for the first time ever before losing to Germany in extra time of the round of 16 and to celebrate this achievement, their country honored them as if they had won the tournament upon returning home.
The players were personally greeted by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal as they got off the plane while the surrounding fans sang joyously. They were each given flowers and then they boarded an open-top bus for a parade through Algiers. Proud fans filled the streets to show the team how much they appreciated the impressive performances in Brazil as the bus slowly made its way through the capital city.
The love was also on display in Greece when fans at the airport chanted the name of Theofanis Gekas, the player who had his penalty saved in Greece's shootout loss to Costa Rica. Their attempt to lift his spirits after such a devastating moment as he cracked a smile while being handed a bouquet of flowers.
Normally when teams are eliminated from a major tournament all we hear about is the criticism and most vile abuse hurled at the players from the most irrational fans. So it's nice to see a bit of perspective and unity even in defeat.