Schroder toasts 'crazy' fans as world champions return to Germany

Germany were celebrating their shock maiden World Cup victory (Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV)
Germany were celebrating their shock maiden World Cup victory (Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV)

Germany captain and tournament MVP Dennis Schroder paid tribute to the team's "crazy" fans at a ceremony in Frankfurt on Tuesday celebrating his side's maiden World Cup victory.

Germany returned home after defeating Serbia 83-77 in Sunday's final in Manila.

"Without you, we would not have won the title," Toronto Raptors star Schroder told the crowd.

"It's crazy what's going on here. It feels good of course that we're respected."

Germany went through the tournament undefeated, beating five-time winners the United States in the semi-finals to qualify for a first-ever World Cup final.

Small forward Franz Wagner, who also plays in the NBA with the Orlando Magic, said it was "wonderful to be welcomed in such a way".

The tournament captured the hearts of the football-mad nation.

The final, played on Sunday afternoon German time, attracted 4.63 million television viewers.

An estimated 1,500 fans were on hand to greet the victorious players, alongside German sports minister Nancy Faeser and Frankfurt mayor Mike Josef.

"Thank you for making history, thank you for making us proud of German sport again," Josef said.

Germany were eliminated in the group stage of the most recent men's and women's football World Cups, while the German delegation failed to win a single medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August.

Among the fans in attendance was 63-year-old Andreas Koch who told AFP the "historic" achievement was "the most important moment in basketball history" in Germany.

Christina Gulya, who came with her eight-year-old daughter, a young basketball player, told AFP "we are so proud".

"The sport is not very popular -- everyone talks about football -- I find it great that basketball is finally getting some attention."