Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann said his players had made the whole country proud despite their extra-time World Cup semi-final defeat to Italy.
Italy scored twice in the final minute of an absorbing encounter, and Klinsmann said: “We are hugely disappointed but you must compliment our team, they are a young team.
“The spirit and character they showed is amazing. They made a country proud.
“It’s something very special to play a World Cup in your home country. We have many youngsters with a lot of quality.”
Klinsmann praised the Italians for their performance.
“A big compliment too to Italy, they are in the final and good luck to them,” said Klinsmann.
“That’s how it goes and that’s what makes football so fascinating.
“The World Cup has been a huge success for the team and for the country and has shown a whole new German face to the world and that is something we can all be proud of.”
Striker Miroslav Klose believes that the young German squad have a bright future.
“I think we can be proud of this team,” said the striker who has scored five goals in the tournament.
“We have a lot of young players and I think we have a future. Both sides had shots on goal and chances to win it.
“Compliments to the Italians, they took advantage of their fast breaks. But now we want to win the game for third place.”
Left-back Philipp Lahm added: “It’s bitter to lose so close to the end of the match. It’s hard to explain it.
“We had good chances to score. We didn’t lack any freshness at the end, we were still fit, everyone could still run.
“There were two very good teams out there. There weren’t many chances. It was a balanced match. We had our chances too.
“It’s hard to find an explanation. We’re naturally very disappointed. There is a lot of disappointment to lose here in Dortmund against Italy.
“We had set ourselves the target of reaching the semi-finals, but once you’ve reached that you want to go all the way.”