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Switzerland's high achievers find pride in defeat

The message from Switzerland midfielder Fabian Lustenberger was "tomorrow we will be proud" after his team fell short in the pursuit of their European Under-21 title dream.

Xherdan Shaqiri was a key player for Switzerland throughout the tournament
Xherdan Shaqiri was a key player for Switzerland throughout the tournament ©Getty Images

There were understandably mixed emotions in the Switzerland dressing room in the wake of Saturday's 2-0 reverse against Spain in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final.

Pierluigi Tami's team lost their four-match 100% record in the competition and with it their dream of a first U21 title. Yet for all the disappointment of their Aarhus defeat, the players could also take pride in what they have achieved here in Denmark. As midfielder Fabian Lustenberger said of the first-time finalists: "Tomorrow we will look back on what we have done and then we can be satisfied and proud."

Admir Mehmedi (adidas Silver Boot award winner)
We cannot really say we played well. We didn't manage to perform as well as in the other games. It's a pity. In a final there's always a loser and a winner. Today Spain were the winners and we have to accept it. We were not all that bad though, and if you have a look at the statistics for ball possession or shots on target we were quite level, even if we were unable to impose our game properly. But in the second half especially Spain deserved the win. It's a great disappointment for all the players but life goes on. Except for the final we played a great tournament. We reached the final, unfortunately we lost but now we are going to the Olympics.

Mario Gavranović
Spain played the ball around really well. We played with two forwards in the second half and we pushed on. We tried to get an equaliser and we had the chances but they are worthy champions. We have to congratulate them but we deserve praise too. I don't think we got tired but maybe we didn't concentrate properly for the first goal. We had to look for a goal but we lacked a bit of patience in our play. Spain played really well with the ball – we ran all we could but they didn't give us many opportunities. We did have a couple of set pieces and if we'd scored it might have been different, but after their second goal it was over.

Yann Sommer
We're very disappointed. We had some good chances and we should have converted them. We have lost the final but I am very proud of my team. Overall we have done well in the whole tournament. For Thiago Alcántara's goal I was too far forward and he saw it. He hit it and it was too late for me. But we're satisfied with our tournament. We're not European champions, so congratulations to Spain.

Fabian Lustenberger
They were better, they played the better football. Although they didn't really create the better chances, they still deserved to win. Of course, for the moment the disappointment is great. But tomorrow we will look back on what we have done and then we can be satisfied and proud.

Xherdan Shaqiri
In the first half we had too much respect for Spain. We weren't quite at it and they were able to play some nice football. In the second half we played a bit better, but Spain deserved to win in the end. We have good players, so it's not only when I have a bad game that it doesn't go well with the team. The team is the most important thing.