Madagascar’s national football stars, who enjoyed a fairy-tale run at the Africa Cup of Nations, have arrived home from Egypt to a big official welcome, during which they were given the rank of Knight of the Malagasy National Order.

The team was also given a cash award according to online newspaper News Mada.

The players and coaching staff were received by President Andry Rajoelina at the Lavoloha State Palace in the capital, Antananarivo.

Before the official reception, videos showed hundreds of people lining the streets of the city to cheer on the national heroes.

The Afcon debutants became one of the talking points of the competition after beating Nigeria 2-0 and topping their first-round group.

They knocked-out the Democratic Republic of DR Congo in the second round but lost to Tunisia in the quarter-finals, falling to a 3-0 thumping.

The president had traveled to Egypt for the team’s second-round tie and said they “will come back stronger” after they exited.

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