Fans of Germany's football team were stunned into disbelief after their team lost 1-0 to Spain in the European Championship final Sunday, silencing thousands who had gathered to
watch on giant screens from the capital to Frankfurt.
Yet despite the loss, and the second-place finish, Germany supporters applauded Spain's victory and basked in Germany's solid run.
"I'm disappointed but Spain is a good champion. They played well through the whole tournament. They didn't lose a game," said Patrick Terstige, who watched the match in Berlin. "Germany has had a lot to be proud of over the last decade and we've played some really exciting games in this tournament. It was a good run."
Spain striker Fernando Torres, who had been overshadowed by teammate David Villa all tournament, scored the game's only goal in the 33rd minute to down the three-time European champions and earn his nation's first major title in 44 years.
During the game, Germany fans clutched and waved German flags, daubed the national colors of black, red and gold upon their faces, and sang of a victory to come.
All of Germany seemed to be watching the game, as people gathered in homes, public viewing areas and in restaurants and bars to watch the game.
Across the country, German flags fluttered from balconies and car radio antennae. In the capital, the fabled "fan mile" counted an estimated 600,000 fans who came to watch the game on large outdoor screens.
Police there reported no major incidents or violence.
Afterward the thousands of fans left solemnly but many held their flags aloft and thought ahead to the next major tournament for Germany, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. (***)