SANTO ANDRE, Brazil, June 17 (Reuters) - The sun was again shining on Germany’s training camp on Tuesday and there were smiles on the faces of the players being put through their paces after Monday’s 4-0 win over Portugal in their World Cup opener.
There was another reason, besides the win and the return of sunshine after several days of rain, that the players were in such high spirits - they are getting their first free afternoon in Brazil to spend time with wives, girlfriends and family.
“The players have the afternoon off,” said Germany team spokesman Jens Grittner. “They’re free to do what they want with their families and wives. They’ve only got to be back in time for the team dinner at 7 p.m.”
Before their afternoon off, Joachim Loew’s starting players focused on regeneration in their workout on Tuesday morning.
Most of them spent much of the session on cross trainers set up in the shade on the side of the pitch while most of the reserves practised attacking moves against reserve goalkeepers.
Striker Miroslav Klose and midfielder Andre Schuerrle were training with particular determination as they powered their way forward and fired countless unstoppable shots on goal.
“Well done Andre, well done!” said Loew, repeating the praise for Klose.
Germany’s coach was spotted earlier on Tuesday walking on the beach wearing sunglasses by a group of Germans near the team’s secluded hotel.
“That was a really good way to start the tournament,” Loew remarked. “We said before the match we had no option but to win.”
The Germany team have acquired thousands of new fans in the northern Brazil region. About 500 Brazilians waited for hours to cheer the players’ arrival late on Monday at the ferry crossing between the Porto Seguro airport and their base camp.
When the players got off the bus to walk on to the ferry, fireworks lit up the night sky. (Editing by Ken Ferris)