Great Britain's run at the 2012 London Olympics is over after being eliminated at the hands of South Korea in their quarterfinal matchup. However, they drew great praise from team captain and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs in the process.
Speaking after their heartbreaking 5-4 loss on penalties to the Asian powerhouse, Giggs commented via Goal that he was incredibly proud of the team's performance and believes that the young stars of the squad have incredibly bright futures ahead of them—both on a domestic and international level.
It was a pleasure to play with so many talented young players. Some I knew, some I didn't, but there's a lot of talent in that dressing room.
Hopefully they can take it back to their clubs now and have good seasons. They deserve it, because their attitudes were brilliant. It's been a pleasure to play with them, to be around them, and to train with them.
I think they're all talented players and they can step it up even more [in the future]. Hopefully this tournament can provide that stepping stone.
[The Olympics] can only be good for a player's development and their experience—I've never experienced it before and I'll cherish every moment of it.
In true British fashion, it seemed only fitting that the host nation were eliminated via a penalty shootout just after the team was starting to show some real promise at the tournament.
They emerged from the group stage undefeated atop Group A and had they defeated South Korea, would have set up a mouth-watering matchup against the gold medal favorites and world football powerhouse, Brazil.
Alas, it was not to be, and the not-as-glamarous reality of preseason club training will soon set in for all of Great Britain's players as they prepare for the upcoming season.
But for all the players involved, expect them to return sharper, more focussed and more passionate about the sport they are making their name in.
Expect them to be driven by their recent international success and to perform with the knowledge and experience that they gained throughout their Olympic campaign.
And who knows, we might even expect Great Britain to be back.
Regardless of what Stuart Peace might say (via Goal).
What did you make of Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics?
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