Germany players criticized Over 'Gaucho' Dance

The first mistake Germany made during the World Cup came during the victory celebration.

Several German players are being shown a red card by a critical local media for a song-and-dance number that mocked Argentina during Tuesday's welcome-home party in front of hundreds of thousands of partying Fussball fans in Berlin.

Six players from Germany's team that won the country's fourth World Cup - but first since 1990 - took to the stage behind Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate singing "This is how the gauchos walk, the gauchos walk like this." As they sang those taunting lyrics, the players crouched down as they danced toward the front of the stage. Then standing upright the lyrics switched to "This is how the Germans walk, the Germans walk like this."

The group of six that featured some of the biggest stars on the team - Mario Gotze (the goal scorer in Rio during Germany's thrilling 1-0 win over Argentina in Sunday's final), Miroslav Klose (who broke the all-time World Cup goal-scoring record in Brazil), Andre Schurrle and Toni Kroos - then kicked mini soccer balls into the sea of humanity lining Berlin's fan mile.

The stunt was called "tasteless" by one newspaper and quickly #gauchogate became a subject of debate in a country that still struggles with how to appropriately display patriotism.

"The German modesty is over," wrote Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper, according to the English language website The Local. "Their joy wasn't enough, they only find full satisfaction when they torture their mourning vanquished opponents a little.

"Maybe that is what will remain in the heads of many people outside Germany from this World Cup. And then the frenetic applause of the audience. They didn't mean anything by it, that is probably true. But they showed that in football there are not only fools, but damned fools."

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called that portion of the celebration "a gigantic own-goal."

The head of Germany's football federation Wolfgang Niersbach said in a statement that the "gaucho dance" was a spontaneous display of joy and emotion, but apologized for the way it was being viewed. He said he was going to write to his counterpart in Argentina to make it clear that no disrespect was meant.

"We have the utmost respect for Argentina," Niersbach said.

Not everyone was taking #gauchogate so seriously, as one commenter on The Local's website called the song "more cringeworthy and embarrassing than tasteless."

Others simply said mocking the other side was just part of the sport.

The two sides are scheduled to meet in an international friendly on Sept. 3 in the Germany city of Dusseldorf.