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German Players Cry Foul Over Referee after Euro 2008 Defeat

While German players were unanimous in their belief that Spain deserved their 1-0 victory in the Euro 2008 final in Vienna, they were extremely unhappy with the referee.

Germany's Michael Ballack, right, receives a yellow card by Italian referee Roberto Rosetti

Ballack felt he didn't deserve this yellow card

The most outspoken critic of Italian referee Roberto Rosetti was Germany's goalie Jens Lehmann, who played in his last European Championship game on Sunday, June 29.

"In my opinion the performance of the referee was very disappointing," the former Arsenal custodian said. "He was a referee who did not really fancy us Germans.

"I spoke to the referee and he was very arrogant. In my opinion he was biased," Lehmann said. "He clearly saw a head butt from a Spanish player and he did not book him and he did not give him a red card and just before the end we had a good chance in the penalty area, but all of a sudden he gave a foul against us and even the Spanish players were surprised with that free kick."

Lehmann, however, said that the Spanish deserved to win.

"Together with us they were the team in the last two, three years who were the most consistent," he said.

Goal shouldn't have happened

Germany's goalie Jens Lehmann is airborne as he reaches out for the ball during the Euro 2008 final

Lehmann felt the referee was biased

Lehmann said that he was disappointed with the goal.

"As a player you always say 'if I had done this or done that'. I am not the kind of person who blames others. If I had probably waited a bit longer or had done something different (Fernando) Torres would probably not have scored."

He said that he did not know whether he would continue playing for Germany.

"I have not made my mind up, I will do that in a little while and then I will let my coaches know and my teammates."

Punished for mistakes

Other German players agreed with Lehmann's assessment of the referee. Striker Lukas Podolski said that he did not think the referee had a good game.

"There were certain decisions where he went against us that could have gone in our favour," he said. "But we must be honest, that is not why we lost the game. We did not do enough to win the European Championship."

Midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger said he felt the referee could have given Germany a little bit more, but also said that the team couldn't blame the loss on bad calls.

"When you make mistakes at this level you get punished," he said. "The Spanish side are so good, so you can't afford to make any mistakes. We made too many -- that is why we lost."

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