Wales's run to the semi-finals is "not the end of the journey" for Chris Coleman's players, with the manager and midfielder Joe Allen believing this is just the start of a successful era.
After five games of high-tempo and high-energy football, plus the suspensions of Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey, Wednesday's UEFA EURO 2016 semi-final against Portugal proved one match too many for Wales.
One of the key differences was Portugal's tournament experience, as proud manager Chris Coleman noted. "They've been here before, they know what it's all about. However, this is not the end of the journey. Our players have got more and this team's got more – more success in them. We've just got to make sure we go and get it."
Those sentiments were echoed by midfielder Joe Allen, one of Wales's stars of a memorable campaign. "The overall experience has been huge for everyone," he added. "It's been inspiring. We can use the wins, but also the defeats, as motivation. We want to make sure this is the first of many journeys we can go on as a team."
While Le Rendez-Vous has proved a huge learning curve for staff and players alike, its impact has stretched much further; indeed, it is difficult to imagine the Welsh football landscape ever being quite the same again.
The incredible images of the Welsh fans and the associated noise and colour have been something to behold. The performances of the players have also inspired a generation of youngsters to dream of emulating their new-found heroes.
A new mark has been set, and with the benefit of hindsight Coleman's decision to sign a new contract prior to the championship, and his attendant belief in this side's capabilities, was absolutely justified. Though his managerial stock has never been higher, he knows there is more to come.
The semi-final defeat remains painful for now, but this French summer will be reflected upon as nothing but an incredibly positive moment for all involved. Wales will only come back stronger.