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“Proud” President Obama calls Dempsey, Howard to congratulate US team

Jul 3, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

Barack Obama AP

President Obama was hit by World Cup fever during the USA’s run to the knockout stages.

Big time.

Watching some of the games on Air Force One, plus chanting “I believe that we will win” during the Belgium game among a crowded room of onlookers, Barack Obama was one proud man and personally thanked Jurgen Klinsmann’s side for their efforts.

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Following the U.S. national team’s World Cup exit on Tuesday, following their brave defeat to Belgium, Obama got straight on the phone and had the following heart-warming message for USMNT stars Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard.

As well as congratulating the players and staff for “capturing the hearts and imagination of a nation” he also invited Klinsmann’s team to the White House to celebrate their accomplishment.

Below is Obama’s chat with Clint and Tim in full, as the USA’s World Cup performance reverberated around Capitol Hill and impressed the President of the U.S.

“Clint, Tim. Man I just wanted to call to say you did us proud. You guys did great. There’s someone here whose first sport was soccer although I was never that good.

To see the way you guys captured the hearts and imaginations of the whole country is unbelievable and obviously the way the sport has been growing steadily because kids have been playing it at a young age, but this is the first time you have had an entire country focused.

Clint you were fantastic and Tim I don’t know how you are going to survive the mobs when you come back home. You are going to have to shave your beard so they don’t know who you are.

You guys did us all proud not just by how hard you played and how well you did; you guys just carried yourselves with a lot of class. It makes people really respect the sport and you guys are really great models for a lot of sportsman here in the states.

I know it is disappointing but what you guys accomplished is really, really significant and it will make a difference to the country so congratulate coach. I know maybe you have got another couple of guys there.

Fantastic job everybody and I hope I get to see you guys again at The Whitehouse sometime soon. I’ve still got my jacket that you guys gave me. I appreciate you guys. Safe travels back. Bye bye.”

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