BERLIN (Reuters) - German football officials have played down the failure by three out of four Bundesliga clubs to advance past the Champions League round of 16 but said success should never be taken for granted months after the country won the World Cup.
Borussia Dortmund joined Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04 out of Europe's premier competition on Wednesday after a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Juventus.
On Tuesday, Leverkusen were eliminated on penalties by Atletico Madrid with Schalke eliminated last week despite winning 4-3 at Real Madrid, following a 2-0 defeat at home.
Five-time winners Bayern Munich are the last German team left in the competition, less than two years after they featured along with Dortmund in the first-ever all-German Champions League final in 2013.
"This (exit) confirms what we had said after the glorious World Cup," German football association president Wolfgang Niersbach told reporters.
"There is no time to rest, no time to ease off. We have to keep at it if we are to remain at the top. I hope Bayern can now make it to the final in Berlin."