Joachim Löw, Germany coach
It was a dramatic game, right until the last shot. I experienced something similar in 2006 in the World Cup against Argentina. It was a game on a tactically very high level from both teams. But we had the upper hand. Italy are strong through their spine and we denied them. Conceding from a penalty was a bit unlucky. I can't imagine that Italy would have scored from open play.
We talked about a back three. It was necessary to change the team a little bit. Italy are a different side to Slovakia. They play with two central attackers and two wingers, who play high up the pitch. It's too dangerous to take them on in a 4 v 4. They play from the wings into the middle, try to lay it off and then make runs from deep. It is predictable, but they do it well. Right after the Italy-Spain game, it was my first thought to play like this.
I had no real influence on the penalty-takers. Every player has to make that decision for himself. Our first five takers were found quickly. Usually, we have good penalty-takers, even though they have not scored today. It was great that the youngsters like Kimmich and Hector kept their nerves on such a stage.
Right after the World Cup it was clear to me that we would have to expand our options and not play the same way all the time – or we would be found out too easily. We have practised and played with a back three several times, in March against Italy for instance. It was no great change for the team.
France are surely favourites [against Iceland], they are playing at home, they have great individual quality. Iceland have caused an upset, they are well organised in defence, it will not be easy for France, but I think they will go through should they perform.
Manuel Neuer, Germany goalkeeper and Man of the Match
I have never experienced a shoot-out like it. I think most of the Italians just aimed down the middle. The goal we conceded during normal time was a bit unlucky, but I believe we were the better side and are deservedly through.
It was something special to have so many penalty-takers and such drama! We did not manage to beat Italy in 90 minutes. We did not beat Italy in 120 minutes. That shoot-out was fitting for a duel between Italy and Germany. It wasn't that easy. It was a battle of nerves. I did prepare, but none of their penalty takers aimed where they usually do.
Jonas Hector, Germany defender and winning penalty taker
It's difficult to express myself, but I'm more than thrilled that [my spot kick] went in somehow. There weren't many players left. At some point you have to do it. I just plucked up all my courage and wanted to score whichever way I could. I think we performed very well in defence and didn't give them much. In attack we misfired a bit. Perhaps we missed the determination we had shown in previous games. However, the Italians defended well.
Antonio Conte, Italy coach
The fact the world champions changed their style of play to face us shows that they respected us a great deal. It was a hard game, for men, in all aspects. I'm sorry to go out like this after the lottery of penalties – and we were ahead in them until the fourth penalty – but Germany are an extremely strong side, the strongest in the world.
We believed we could do it and the disappointment at the end in the dressing room was huge. We believed in this dream and we tried with our nails, our teeth – with everything – to hang on to it. We know that football can give you satisfaction, but it can also give you bitterness.
These lads can go home content, aware of what they've done. They will remain in my heart. These two years have been fantastic, and I will never stop thanking these 23 lads, the staff, the kit men, everybody. It was a magic family and we're sorry it has come to an end today.
The decision to leave the national team after two years was taken early and I don't deny there were moments when I'd have liked to have the opportunity to continue. We've left an indelible trace which I hope can lead to some success because for some of these lads it was a first tournament and they can grow from this.
When you do everything, nobody can criticise you at all and these lads went beyond the call of duty, giving absolutely everything and I think people recognise this. You love your country and the shirt you are wearing. I'm very optimistic for the future of Italian football.
I'd have preferred not to have a holiday as that would have meant this adventure continuing for longer. Now I take a week off, which I need to get over this disappointment, and then I start my adventure at Chelsea. I know it will be hard and stimulating, but I like these challenges.
Marco Parolo, Italy midfielder
We told ourselves: "We're going to this tournament and we're going to give it absolutely everything we've got." If we succeeded, it's because we did everything we could. I think we did that today too, but we're sorry because we could have won.
We could have won it on penalties too. Then we could have lost, and then we had another chance to win it. This time they won the lottery. But we matched the world champions, a really strong side, and this proves we're a real team, a team with character, with individual talent, the lot. So yes, we're sorry, but we need to look ahead and proud of what we have done.
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