Construction workers take pictures as Germany's 2014 World Cup squad proceed in an open-top bus through BerlinReuters

Germany's football heroes damaged their World Cup trophy during the wild party which greeted them upon their return from Brazil last week.

Wolfgang Niersbach, President of Germany's soccer federation, told weekly magazine Die Welt that the players chipped off a "small piece" of the trophy during their victory celebrations in Berlin.

But football fans needn't worry – the trophy paraded by Philip Lahm and co during their triumphant homecoming was just a replica of the real thing.

The original trophy, thought to be worth around £8 million, was taken by Fifa officials from the German dressing room immediately after their 1-0 victory over Argentina, and is now sitting in a safe in Switzerland.

Nonetheless, German football chiefs have been meticulous in their response to the mishap – even though they have been unable to find the player responsible for the damage.

"Don't worry." Niersbach said. "We have specialists on the case who can fix it [the trophy]. We have investigated persistently who it was that damaged the trophy, but the investigation was concluded without a result."

Germany claimed their fourth world title last Sunday, with a Mario Gotze goal beating the Argentinians in extra time. The victory followed previous successes in 1954, 1974 and 1990.