Germany were poor
Well done for winning, but you played poorly, went the message from the German press to the nation's football team Thursday after their 3-2 victory over Turkey in a nail-biting Euro 2008 semifinal.
"Horror movie with a happy end," was how the Berliner Zeitung summed up the thriller of a semifinal that has given Germany a shot at becoming European champions.
"The German team's performance in this championship has been hard to understand. The level of their play has been as erratic as that of a bunch of pubescent players."
Under the headline "What madness. Our nerves!" the tabloid-style newspaper Bild warned the team that they would have to "improve by at least 200 per cent" when they face either Spain or Russia in the final in Vienna on Sunday.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung said Wednesday night saw the Germans "clearly play more poorly than they did against Portugal in the quarter finals" and praised Turkey for "being better than expected."
Der Tagesspiegel agreed that "the level of football we saw was rather poor."
Most newspapers ran front-page photographs of a jubilant Philipp Lahm lifting his shirt after kicking Germany into the final with a 90th minute goal.