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German players get freedom of Berlin from Klinsmann

Written by: Staff
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BERLIN, June 5 (Reuters) Berlin residents should not be surprised if they see Michael Ballack ordering a coffee at the next table or Oliver Kahn passing those quiet moments at the World Cup with a bit of shopping.

Coach Juergen Klinsmann, who was at three World Cups as a player, has decided to let his squad come and go from their luxury hotel as they please, whenever they have time off from training or tactical discussions.

''Players can roam around Berlin if they want,'' Klinsmann told reporters today. ''They can go for a meal on their own if they want.

''But they know the door is closed (to others). No one from outside will have access.'' The German players began arriving at their base today, four days before they play the opening match of the World Cup against Costa Rica.

They are staying at one of the best addresses in Berlin, at a hotel in the upmarket Grunewald district.

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was in charge of the renovation of the hotel in the 1990s and there are video game machines installed in the rooms.

''It's a little oasis in a beautiful part of Berlin,'' Klinsmann said. ''We wanted to have somewhere close to the city.'' The most expensive room is known as the Kaiser Suite and goes for 3,000 euros a night.

Perhaps that is where Franz Beckenbauer, der Kaiser himself, will stay if Germany win the final on July 9.

REUTERS AY PM1919

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