Greece striker Georgios Samaras' FIFA World Cup™ has been "an unbelievable dream" marred only by a disappointing performance in their opening Group B match against South Korea.
The country's only other appearance at the tournament came in 1994 in the USA when they failed to score a goal and exited the group stage without a point.
Having surprisingly won the UEFA European Championships in 2004 the nation returned to the world stage in South Africa but it seemed history would repeat itself as they went down 2-0 to South Korea in their first match.
However, Greece bounced back as they came from behind to beat Nigeria 2-1 - scoring their first FIFA World Cup goals in the process - and held the supremely-talented Argentina at bay for 77 minutes before conceding two late goals to finish third in the group.
"The players are disappointed by the game against South Korea but the last two games against Nigeria and Argentina we did all we can, gave 100% and in the end we were really happy with our performance as a team," said the Celtic forward.
"We enjoy the football because that is what it is all about. In the end it was a fair result [against Argentina] and we enjoyed it even though we lost the game. It has a been a great experience. It is a world football party.
"Maybe in the first game we were a bit nervous but it has been a great experience for everyone and I want to thank all my team-mates for sharing this unbelievable dream."
Having been given the unenviable task of playing as the lone front man as the rest of the Greece team concentrated on defending Samaras had plenty of opportunity to watch Argentina at close hand.
And he confirmed what many have come to realise - and which was thought improbable after disastrous qualifying campaign: Diego Maradona's side have to be considered serious contenders.
"They are a great team, with great players and the way they move the ball is really good," he added.
"If they can find form and rhythm they can do more and more things. And don't forget they left out some players against us (Maradona rested the likes of hat-trick hero Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano and Angel de Maria). They have all the qualities to get through to the final."