Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff insists Wednesday's World Cup semi-final defeat by Spain marks the beginning, not the end, of a dream for his young team.
With the exception of stalwarts such as Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, most of the German side that won so many admirers before they crashed out in Durban will still be around in four years' time. Mesut Ozil, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller have all established themselves as stars of the future.
"We hope this is the beginning, not the end, for this team," said Bierhoff. "We have some very young players with a very big future and this will be an important experience for them as they go forward in their careers."
He added: "It is tough. If you dream, if you believe you are going to get a big performance it is hard when you lose."