Andry Rajoelina 'knights' Madagascar AFCON team

Author: BBC Sport
Andry Rajoelina

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

The players and coaching staff who were received by President Andry Rajoelina at the Lavoloha State Palace in the capital, Antananarivo were also given cash awards according to online newspaper News Mada.

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 travelled to Egypt for the team's second-round tie, and said they "will come back stronger" after they exited.