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Updated: July 8, 2010 15:03 IST

Germans lament Spain defeat

DPA
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Spain's Gerard Pique (R) comforts Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger at the end of the semifinal match in Durban.
AP
Spain's Gerard Pique (R) comforts Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger at the end of the semifinal match in Durban.

There will be no reception for the German World Cup team after its return from the World Cup as the country was mourning Wednesday’s 1-0 semifinal defeat against Spain.

The team had a reception when it finished third in 2006 in Berlin but that was to round off a home event and not all to popular among the players.

As a result, there will be no party on Monday with the fans on the return of Joachim Loew’s heroes, who, after a grand tournament, were finally showed their limitations by a majestic Spanish side.

“The dream is over,” said the front page headline of the Bild paper. “Caramba, how good these Spaniards were. But we are still proud of our boys.

“Then we will get the cup in four years time ... This young team has a bright future. A lost match does not change that. On the contrary: You can learn a lot from such bitter defeats,” Bild said.

Youngsters like Thomas Mueller, Mesut Oezil and Sami Khedira rose to stardom, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose found back the form they had lacked all season, and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger was named “the heart and the motor” of the team by coach Joachim Loew.

But that was to no avail against Spain who outplayed a hesitant Germany to win 1-0 as in the Euro 2008 final.

“Some, like Khedira and Oezil, had to realise that there is still a way to go towards being world class. They exposed tactical weaknesses of England and Argentina but were inferior against clever and mature Spaniards,” said Kicker sports magazine.

But Kicker also said: “There is consolation for them that they played the best football over a long stretch in South Africa ...

What remains is the hope in a glorious future, which this team should have.” The third-place match against Uruguay is still to come but Germany was getting back to its normal life after weeks of euphoria.

The hundreds of thousands of fans went home mainly without incidents on a warm summer night across the country as an eerie silence fell over Germany which had previously carried the team in another display of joy and pride.

What remains is the question whether Loew will stay on as coach, a decision that he plans to make after his return. The team is his, and the whole country will want him to stay on.

“Jogi Loew should quickly renew his contract and continue working with this team,” said Bild.

The other question mark is a return or not, and whether as captain or not, of Michael Ballack. Philipp Lahm was captain in South Africa and said this week he wants to keep the armband.

“Does Germany need his (Ballack’s) experience in games like the one against Spain?” asked Bild. “Fact is: we lost in 2008 as well with him. But it is also a fact that there is still a place in this team for a Ballack in top form.”

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