Toni Kroos said Germany got what they deserved at the World Cup and admitted he and his team-mates were "very sad" and "very angry" after they were knocked out following a 2-0 defeat to South Korea.
After losing to Mexico in their Group F opener, Germany beat Sweden but were eliminated in fourth place after conceding two stoppage-time goals in their third and final game, before returning home to face public uproar over the country's failure to advance beyond the first round of a World Cup for the first time in 80 years.
Kroos, who scored a spectacular winning goal that looked to have righted Die Mannschaft's campaign against Sweden, pulled no punches in his assessment of the scale of Germany's flop.
"I don't know if it was the darkest day for German football, but it was definitely a very black one," Kroos told reporters. "I don't think anyone in Germany expected this at all — in fact, I don't think anyone in the world did.
"Clearly we expected the World Cup to be another long tournament for us and the only thing I can say is that after three games we weren't able to play our best at any stage.
"At the end we did not do enough, to be honest. If we can't score a goal in 90 minutes against South Korea then we don’t deserve to go through. We got what we deserved. We were not unlucky. It is not down to bad luck."
Kroos admitted Germany fell short of their best in all three of their World Cup matches, acknowledging the lack of urgency among the players as Sweden's 3-0 victory over Mexico piled pressure on them to find a winning goal against South Korea.
No decision has been made over the future of Germany head coach Joachim Low, who is contracted until 2022, but Kroos said the mood of sadness and anger around the country would not help the team move forward.
"At no stage in the whole tournament did I really feel like it was a final for us," he said. "At the end we had to go for the goal and then they scored. And at the end we knew Sweden were in front so we had to risk even more. We had chances but didn't take any of them and that sums up the whole tournament for us really.”
"I think we tried our best, it wasn't a lack of effort. We tried everything to play football, but we just couldn't get going.
"Of course we are very sad and we were also very angry, but that helps nothing now."