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Coach Loew hails team despite loss

June 30, 2008 18:33 IST

Coach Joachim Loew said he is satisfied with Germany's showing at Euro 2008 after they lost the final 1-0 to Spain on Sunday.

Fernando Torres netted in the first half after taking advantage of a mistake by defender Philipp Lahm, who had scored the last-minute winner in their fortunate 3-2 win over Turkey in the semi-finals.

"I think we can be satisfied with the tournament as a whole. The team performed very well over the 45 days we've spent together. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed everything, but we were very ambitious," Loew told a news conference.

"We have to acknowledge our defeat and for us it is going to be an incentive to work hard in the next two years. For us, it is a great performance to reach the final, it has been something extraordinary and we are proud of that."

The Germany coach, who will stay in charge for the qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup, said Spain fully deserved their first major title in 44 years.

"I think we have to recognise the high quality of the Spanish players," he said.

"They played very well during the whole tournament and today they were technically excellent and had more chances than us. So I think they deserve victory."

Loew also hailed his captain Michael Ballack, who played from the start in the final despite having a calf injury.

"It was good to have him there. He is always very important for our team," he said. "He is our captain and he did lots of special things for us during this tournament. He represents Germany and the team very well."

The coach also said that Lahm was substituted at the break because of an injury and not because of his error.

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