Germany has celebrated its FIFA World Cup victory with a stamp, announced just hours after the 1-0 extra time win against Argentina on July 13.
The design shows the legs of a German player, and those of an opponent wearing Argentine colours, running toward a ball. Over top the image are the words Deutschland Fussball Weltmeister 2014, which roughly translates as Germany World Football Champions 2014, and the value of €0.60.
The stamp was designed by Lutz Mense, and printed for Deutsche Post by security printer Giesecke & Devrient, of Munich. The stamps are produced in panes of 10 , with scores from Germany’s other matches in the World Cup tournament in the selvedge.
It is the fourth time Germany has won the cup, with previous victories in 1954, 1974, and 1990.
In order to have the stamp ready for unveiling, and for sale, just hours after the match, they were printed before the match. The German Finance Ministry authorized printing five million stamps between the time Germany made it to the finals and the time the match started.
The Finance Ministry owns 21 per cent of the post office.
Apparently, there have been similar plans for several recent world cups, but in those years Germany did not make it to the final match.
As with coins, World Cup host FIFA has an official philatelic program, which means postal administrators get to produce stamps using FIFA’s brand marks in return for licensing fees.
For the most part, stamps being issued for the 2014 tournament were issued without any of FIFA’s images or sanction.
In fact, the popularity of the sport notwithstanding, very few of the competing nations chose to issue stamps, with the notable exceptions of Britain and Brazil.
Of course, Brazil, as the host nation, was quick to bring out a program.
Early on was a set of 12 stamps, each with a value of 1.20 reals. Issued in a single sheet, each stamp features the name of a different stadium, and an image representing either the stadium or the host city.
The designs chosen for the stamps were taken from the official posters created for the games in the various host cities. A total of 600,000 of each stamp were issued. Brazil also produced a number of 2.75-real stamps featuring the cup itself and the 2014 tournament mascots.
Britain, whose team washed out in the first round of play, issued several stamps in a series that shows dramatic images of Brazilian children playing soccer. The stamps were issued in both first- and second-class rates. The first-class stamps are in colour, while the second-class issues show the image in black and white. A second series shows the cup itself.
Argentina did not issue a stamp before or after the games. In fact, compared with the previous tournament, held in South Africa in 2010, there seemed to be fewer stamp issues.
But the soccer powerhouses of Portugal and Spain, the defending champion nation coming into the tourney, both issued stamps.
The Portuguese stamps included the official labels, a mascot and the trophy. The two stamps show the flag of Brazil on a €0.72 denomination, and the flag of Portugal on a €0.42 denomination.
Other issues came from countries as diverse as Aruba, Bahrain, Malta, Monaco, and Algeria, the latter which played in the tournament and reached the round of 16 for the first time, losing 2-1 in extra time to eventual champion Germany.