Immigrants do the trick

He said the large number of players of foreign origin in the side was an indication of improving integration in a country of 82 million with a foreign population of about seven million.

"It's tremendous progress -- 11 of the 23 Germany players are from immigrant families," de Maiziere, who is also the Interior Minister, told Deutschlandfunk radio.

"They've worked hard, delivered a great performance. They wanted to become German citizens and they've done that without turning their backs on their home countries," he added. "We've accepted that and they're loved as much as anyone else.”

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