Germany may have not been crowned world champions in July, but the country as a whole came out of the 2006 World Cup as a winner, according to the German government's report on this summer's soccer tournament.
Germany was laughing all the way to the bank after the World Cup
The World Cup had a very positive effect on the country's economy and helped improve its image internationally, according to Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who attended the unveiling of the report in Berlin on Wednesday.
The four-week tournament earned Germany's tourism industry an extra 300 million euros ($399 million) in revenue, added 2 billion euros to retail sales and yielded 50,000 new jobs, according to the final report on sports' biggest event.
Ticket sales funneled a further 40 million euros into the treasury, while the World Cup Organizing Committee earned a net profit of 56.5 million euros, which will go to the German Soccer Federation (DFB) and German Soccer League (DFL).
The DFB announced that the organizing committee had total earnings of 140 million euros from the tournament -- it turned over 40 million euros directly to soccer world governing body FIFA and paid 44 million euros in taxes.
And while the cost of holding the World Cup in terms of infrastructure racked up a bill of 3.7 billion euros, Germany welcomed 15 million more visitors -- and their euros -- to the tournament than original estimates suggested.
Schäuble hails "landmark" security operation
Schäuble called the 2006 World Cup a fairytale
Over 20 million fans flocked to Germany to watch the games in the public viewing areas, with a minimum of disorder -- justifying claims that the cooperation between German state police forces, foreign officers on the ground in Germany and in neighboring countries and the government was a great success.
"The World Cup was not only a sporting success but also an economic, political and security success," Schäuble said at a press conference in the German capital. He added that the success of the security operation was "a quality landmark in international police work."
The minister said the World Cup also had a positive effect on German society. "The World Cup this summer was a fairytale, one that changed everyday life."
However, while a certain amount of the positive feeling remained, Schäuble admitted it couldn't last forever.
"You can't have the World Cup all the year round," he said. "It would be like a year of Christmas. It would be too much."
DFB thanks Klinsmann for his role in success
Germany's coaching team set the celebratory tone
DFB president Theo Zwanziger said that all the plans and dreams of the German organizers, which began with an application for the tournament way back in 1992, had been fulfilled. He thanked Jürgen Klinsmann, the former national team coach, for making Germany competitive in the World Cup, which in turn helped to drive the economy, unite the country and boost Germany's image as a good host.
Schäuble offered Germany's services to the Swiss and Austrian organizers of Europe's next big soccer event, the 2008 European Championships, and to the committee in charge of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Germany has already been involved in both events in an advisory capacity.
Zwanziger added that Germany was considering a tender for the Women's World Cup in 2011.