Captain Philipp Lahm admitted Germany felt 'very bitter' following their shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Italy in the semi-final of Euro 2012.
Mario Balotelli struck twice to secure a famous win for the Azzurri to leave the Germans' hopes of a fourth European Championship crown in tatters.
A late penalty from Mesut Ozil proved no more than a consolation goal for Joachim Low's inexperienced team, whose 16-year wait for a major title continues.
The full-back said: "It's very, very bitter. We made mistakes that led to those two goals. We worked hard in the first half and we had chances but you can't give up goals like that."
"Every defeat is bitter, especially after getting so far in the tournament. The most bitter part is that this team has so much potential for more than this, but we weren't clever enough."
Meanwhile, head coach Joachim Low felt huge disappointment after defeat at the National Stadium in Warsaw, but felt his side must now bounce back.
"We had two goals against us in the first half and it was difficult. The team showed a lot of heart after that," he said.
"We had our chances in the second half, if we had got the goal sooner it would have been a different match.
"It's very difficult against a team like Italy to fall behind 2-0. They defend with everything they have.
"The disappointment is huge for everyone but we shouldn't make the mistake and question everything. We've got to see how we can do better in the future."