By Erik Kirschbaum
SANTA CRUZ CABRALIA, Brazil, July 7 (Reuters) - Brazil fans near Germany's World Cup base on the Atlantic coast turned against Joachim Loew's squad as they departed on Monday on the eve of their semi-final against the host nation.
Crowds of local residents from the town of Santa Cruz Cabralia, who had been cheering and applauding Germany's players in recent weeks as they left for matches and returned home, showed their allegiance by chanting "Brazil, Brazil, Brazil".
Several hundred Brazilian fans once again stood near the ferry crossing where Germany's players and coaches walk up off the ramp and on to the team bus for a 30-km ride to the Porto Seguro airport for the trip to Belo Horizonte.
But this time they were cheering for the home nation, with many wearing Brazil's green and yellow colours or waving flags.
For the last three weeks the crowds have been there to welcome Germany back late at night, and in pouring rain at times, cheering the three-time World Cup winners even though the players barely acknowledged their presence.
Only forward Thomas Mueller stopped to sign an autograph for a young boy in a Brazil jersey who managed to dart past police barricades while his team mates quickly shuffled on to the bus without smiling or waving to the crowd or assembled media.
Loew said in an interview with the German football association (DFB) website (www.dfb.de) on Monday that his team has improved during the tournament and are determined to win the World Cup after coming third in 2006 and 2010
"Our joint project isn't over yet," said Loew. "We aren't finished yet."
Germany have won 28 of their last 31 competitive matches with two draws - the only defeat in that run being a 2-1 loss in the Euro 2012 semi-finals against Italy. (Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; editing by Ken Ferris)