Warsaw: German fans were distraught and incredulous after their Euro 2012 2-1 semi-final loss to bogey team Italy in Warsaw.
Supporters gathered in their tens of thousands in central Berlin on Thursday confident that a young and talented side would be too strong for the Italians but they were undone by a Mario Balotelli double.
Some 400,000 people around the Brandenburg Gate could scarcely comprehend the defeat which saw the Italians advance to a final against titleholders Spain in Kiev on Sunday.
"Germany can't lose - it's just not possible," moaned Gina Pusche, a 20-year-old student wearing a necklace in the black, red and gold of die Mannschaft.
Those present, mostly youngsters in their early to mid-20s, had expected to party into the night on the back of a win but instead the party ended early as many drifted swiftly away into the night.
"It would have been huge for the people here if their team had won," said Gregory Revel, 51, a locksmith. "You can understand that - the youngsters are really in tune with their team."
Some fans said the team just was not on its game with the usually influential Bastian Schweinsteiger coming in for particular criticism as the Italians overran the Germans for long periods.
But there was also recognition of the fine Italian showing.
"It was a good match all the same. The Italians played very well so I shan't be dissolving in tears," said one fan, Rene Arnold.
"It's a game above all."
Even so there were few renditions of Germany's footballing rallying cry "Super Deutschland" as the supporters packed up and headed off home.


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