"As the team captain I am proud of this group".
The World Cup lost its headline acts on Saturday as the game's two biggest stars, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, readied to leave Russian Federation after their teams were eliminated in the Round of 16.
And both players, after seeing their hopes of creating the ultimate global history crushed, looked as downbeat as the reality of that early exit hit them.
Maybe they could look at some of their team-mates.
Argentina's most-capped player Javier Mascherano called time on his worldwide career Saturday after the painful World Cup defeat to France.
The Argentina captain only scored once in four matches at the finals and is still yet to score a World Cup goal in the knockout rounds.
Messi didn't speak after the game against France, missing the chance to clear up whether or not he will continue to represent his country after their elimination from the World Cup.
Matuidi will play deep on the left looking to cut the link between Messi and his midfield support.
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"I'm absolutely sure this team will continue to be one of the the best in the world".
So, what Messi needs to decide is if he will be OK with being, well, OK. He is, most of the time, from a different planet, but even for the Barcelona superstar, playing at the biggest global stage in four years might be too much.
"Ronaldo seems to want to go on forever". However, that pressure, that need to lead his country to the World Cup title, isn't quite as insane for the Real Madrid man.
The two titans of world football are out of the World Cup on the same day.
Ronaldo, who will be 37 by the time of the next World Cup, was unable to keep Portugal alive despite incessant pressure from his side in the dying stages of the match.
"Overall we leave with our heads held high".
"Cristiano still has a lot to give to football", the Euro 2016-winning coach told reporters.