Five days ahead of their first game, the German football squad has arrived at its Euro 2012 base. Coach Joachim Löw and his 23 players will be staying at a five-star hotel on the outskirts of Gdansk.
The German national team landed at the port city of Gdansk on Monday afternoon, with coach Löw and the chairman of the German Football Assosiation, Wolfgang Niersbach, the first to step onto the tarmac.
The players were met by a small delegation from the city, before being driven away in a bus adorned with the message "From game to game - the big aim," in German. The luxury Dwor Oliwski hotel, close to the Baltic coast, will be the squad's home for the duration of the campaign.
"We like this accommodation because it really is tailored to our needs," said Löw.
Proud Polish hosts
The hotel is located just 200 meters (220 yards) from the squad's training ground, built by the German football federation at a cost of some 250,000 euros ($312, 000).
Mayor of Gdansk Andrzej Bojanowski said he was "very proud" the team had chosen to stay in the city. It was, he said "very important for Gdansk and the region."
For the evening, a public training session was being held at the city's 14,000-seater Legia Stadium. Some 10,000 fans were expected. About 3,500 of the tickets were reserved for German soccer fans, while 4,000 were distributed to local schools and orphanages.
The team is making the hotel its base for several weeks after attending training camps in southern France and Sardinia.
"The only thing we are now talking about is Portugal," said Löw, referring to Germany's first opponents - on Saturday - in the preliminary group round, which also includes the Netherlands and Denmark. "The players should only be focused on their Euro 2012 opener," he said.
Germany's last national trophy was at the Euro '96 tournament, held in England.
rc/jlw (sid, dpa)