Turkish newspapers have heaped praise on coach Fatih Terim and the national team for their stunning performances at UEFA EURO 2008. A last-gasp goal earned Germany a 3-2 victory over Turkey in their semi-final yesterday.

"Champions of our hearts," read a headline in the Sabah over a full-page picture of the team after Wednesday's match. "Thank you, boys," said Radikal, hailing the team's "unforgettable" performance.

All dailies were united in declaring Turkey the better team on the pitch on Wednesday despite the absence of nine men, including key players, from Terim's sqaud due to injury and suspension. "We crushed Germany but could not defeat them," Sabah added.

"A glorious farewell," added the Milliyet. "We return from Switzerland with heads held high." The popular Vatan declared: "Turkey is proud of you".

Turkey's EURO 2008 run also brought relief to Terim, who was much criticised for his tactics and choice of players after losing 2-0 to Portugal in the opening match. An angry Terim lashed out at Turkish press, saying it was up to him and not the media to decide, then led his team to dramatic last-minute victories in the next three games to make it into the last four.

"Fatih Terim succeeded in getting the team to play to his philosophy," commentator Ridvan Dilmen, a former Turkey international, wrote in Milliyet. "I am not exaggerating when I say this is a revolution in world football. "Everyone will remember us as the team that played football."

Pundits had given Turkey little chance, but the team surprised all to win their last three games in nail-biting fashion and earn a reputation as comeback kings. In the group phase, they beat Switzerland 2-1 and Czech Republic 3-2 with last-minute goals, and knocked Croatia out in the quarter-finals on penalties after equalising with the last kick of the game.