Spain captain Raul was devastated following his team's exit from the World Cup in the second round after a 3-1 defeat to France.
Spain had taken a 28th-minute lead with David Villa converting from the penalty spot before the French hit back with Franck Ribery equalising before half-time.
Late second-half goals from Patrick Vieira and Zinedine Zidane sunk Spain and guided the 1998 champions into the last eight.
'Today the real World Cup began and it has been a big disappointment for us,' said Raul, who had hoped to celebrate his 29th birthday with a place in the quarter finals with Brazil.
Spain has never progressed past the quarter-final stages in this tournament but having won all their group games in convincing fashion, netting eight goals and only conceding once, they really believed this could be their year.
'It's always the same,' said Raul.
'In the moment of truth we fail to deliver, we don't prove our worth.
'The fact is that our fantastic start served for nothing because the important thing was to win tonight.'
Real Madrid striker Raul praised their rivals, who were considered the underdogs having only scraped through their group.
Raymond Domenech's men had drawn with Switzerland and South Korea before defeating Togo to finish second in Group G.
'We faced a great French team tonight,' said Raul.
'They have used their experience to good use and have played at a high level.
'They have proved tonight that this team is by no means dead but they are alive and well.
'I wish them the best of luck.'
Raul had been an uncertainty going into the tournament having sustained a serious injury earlier this year.
Luis Aragones' decision to included him in the squad for Germany had been given a mixed reception, with the Madrid captain having struggled to make an impact this season.
He did score the equaliser against Tunisia to inspire Spain to a 3-1 triumph in their second group game.
Despite the setback, Raul is determined to bounce back.
'I want to continue to play for the national team,' he said.
'I hope that I will be called up by this coach or whoever takes over.
'That is my intention and what happened tonight doesn't change this.'