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Serbia's Marko Dmitrović: 'The best is yet to come'

Goalkeeper Marko Dmitrović reflects on "the end of a cycle" for Serbia following their group stage exit but finds consolation in the rude health of youth football in his homeland.

Serbia goalkeeper Marko Dmitrović was magnanimous following his team's exit
Serbia goalkeeper Marko Dmitrović was magnanimous following his team's exit ©Sportsfile

On reasons for elimination …
The biggest reason for our elimination is that the rest of the teams were better than us. Unfortunately we finished last in the group. Nobody is satisfied when you finish at the bottom, but we have to be honest with ourselves, we gave it our all. We didn't go out today, but three days earlier on matchday two when the Czech Republic deservedly beat us.

On the positives …
The experiences and the knowledge we can compete with the best teams out there. The results were not that good, true, but we are sportsmen and we have to pick ourselves up and draw lessons from these two defeats. It is the end of a cycle for us – we are moving apart, but I hope each of us will take something from this experience and be better for it.

On Serbian youth football …
It's a big thing for our country. We have world champions at junior level and we have an U21 team that is among the top eight. Serbia achieves phenomenal results in youth competitions. I hope that these achievements will soon transfer to the senior team. Being in the best eight [teams in Europe] is a very good result for Serbia.

Serbia are FIFA U-20 world champions
Serbia are FIFA U-20 world champions©Getty Images

On continuing to improve ...
We have extraordinary players and I hope that many of us will play for the senior team - that's the ultimate goal. We are all already playing at senior level [for our clubs] and play important roles in our teams. The fact that we play for the national team and we are in this tournament proves we have quality. But we're still young and the best is yet to come. I'm sure that we'll all continue to work and better ourselves and hopefully in a year or two we'll celebrate an achievement with the senior team.

On the next step …
On 29 June preparations for the new season start in England, but I'll join the team a bit later. I'm not sure what I'll do, maybe I'll go on holiday or maybe I'll spend the time with my family. So a short break for me and then back to my club [Charlton Athletic].