World Cup: Germans crying; president praises players

In an open letter to the team, German President Horst Koehler praised the players for their skill and energy on the field, and helping off the field to bring out a new sense of national pride among Germans.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended the semifinal game, spoke to the players afterward, her spokesman told reporters.

German flags still fluttered from cars and balconies in the capital, but the party mood of the past three weeks was palpably absent early as people made their way to work.

One of the World Cup's sponsors was quick to react to Germany's exit, accprding to the AP.

Huge red Coca-Cola posters have proclaimed during the tournament that Germany would win the World Cup "here in 2006."

On Wednesday, a new poster went up in Berlin's downtown Potsdamer Platz: "1954. 1974. 1990. 2010."