They finished on a high, but Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi said the team's "overriding emotion" was still one of disappointment as they exited the finals with a 2-1 win against Russia.
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Happy to have finally chalked up a victory in Israel, Germany duo Shkodran Mustafi and Kevin Volland said that could still not take away the disappointment of not reaching the semi-finals. Germany came from behind to defeat Russia 2-1 in their final UEFA European Under-21 Championship game and both players said they would enjoy their last night at the finals because, as Volland said, "this team will never be reunited again".
Shkodran Mustafi, Germany defender
Of course the disappointment prevails over any other emotion – after all, we are out of the tournament. We have a lot of young players and to end this tournament with a victory is good for us. The younger generation will start the qualification campaign soon. It's great to end the tournament with a victory, because you could also say that we are starting qualifying with a victory.
At a tournament like this you come up against some excellent players and you saw that again today. The Russians had a few players in the team who were of huge quality in my opinion. Against Spain and the Netherlands I didn't play, but you still take a lot of experience from this tournament. And I can go back to my club with a lot of confidence, as the pre-season starts very soon.
Most players in this team were together for longer than just three weeks. We were together for almost two years if you include qualifying. But of course disappointment is the overriding emotion so we really have no reason to celebrate tonight, as we were eliminated from the tournament. This wasn't what we were aiming for, but we gave it our all and you can't really blame us for anything. Perhaps there will still be the chance to have a night out.
Kevin Volland, Germany forward
Overall we can't be satisfied. Obviously we wanted to reach the semi-finals, but even so we were determined to get a victory today and finish this tournament on a high, which worked out for us. The team showed great character.
We had enough chances again today. Just like in the second half against the Netherlands, when we had one opportunity after another. We really should have scored more goals and you can say that we lacked a killer instinct overall. I don't think this team will ever be reunited again so that's why we're going to have a nice evening, despite not making it through.