World Cup: Colombia team returns home as heroes

Members of Colombia's national soccer team have been welcomed home from the World Cup in Brazil with shouts of thanks from grateful compatriots.

James Rodriguez continues to lead Golden Boot race with 6 goals

Colombia's soccer player Pablo Armero, third right, dances as teammates watch during the team's homecoming celebration in honour of their World Cup showing, in Bogota, Colombia, on Sunday. (Fernando Vergara/The Associated Press)

Members of Colombia's national soccer team have been welcomed home from the World Cup in Brazil with shouts of thanks from grateful compatriots.

Thousands of fans turned out for the Sunday homecoming of superstar James Rodriguez, his teammates and coach Jose Pekerman following their 2-1 loss to Brazil in the quarterfinals on Friday. Colombia won the previous four games, against Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan and Uruguay.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sent a message thanking the team "for so much joy and for teaching us how to dream."

It was soccer-crazy Colombia's best-ever World Cup performance, as it reached the quarter-finals for the first time. Its earlier success in the tournament delighted Colombians who hope unity can help end a half-century of conflict that has claimed more than 220,000 lives.

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