Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer enjoyed and endured a rollercoaster ride at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but after suffering a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Italy, he vowed to come back for more in 2010.
Schwarzer, who was beaten by a 95th-minute penalty by Francesco Totti in the Round of 16 in Kaiserslautern, showed no emotion about the spot-kick and instead chose to dwell on the fact that Australia had missed a great chance to reach the last eight.
In an exclusive interview, Schwarzer told FIFAworldcup.com: "We're bitterly disappointed because we felt that the game was there to be taken and won. Even from the first whistle we played very well and dominated the game, playing it at our own pace. Even though the Italians had a few chances, we felt they were pretty limited in their ideas of how to break us down."
Italy 1-0 Australia report
As Schwarzer relaxed with his family in Stuttgart the day after the 1-0 loss against Italy, he reflected on a tournament where he had started out as first-choice goalkeeper, only to be dropped by coach Guus Hiddink in favour of Zeljko Kalac against Croatia and then restored to the team again.
Schwarzer said: "I think what he (Hiddink) said in the press is well known. He said that he had made a mistake in changing us around and he made it pretty clear from the outset after the Croatia game that he was going to play me again. He knew I wasn't happy with the situation or too pleased about the way it turned out and he let me know the day before the Italy game that I would come back.
"It has been an amazing experience. It's the biggest single sporting tournament in the world and it's been massive for us. It's the one that everyone wants to be in, representing your country at the World Cup.
"It's really disappointing because I don't think we will ever have an opportunity as good as we had against the Italians to progress to the quarter-finals. Italy were there to be beaten and unfortunately we didn't do so. I think we're going to look back at this game for many years to come with a bit of regret that we didn't take our chances to win it."
The Middlesbrough goalkeeper was clearly downcast about reaching the end of the road at Germany 2006, but he looked forward to a repeat performance in four years' time. He said: "It's only Australia's second appearance at the World Cup and to have beaten Japan, playing well against Brazil, getting the result we needed against Croatia and to have gone so close to beating Italy, I think it's a credit to the boys and how far we have come as a team.
"Hopefully we'll be back at the World Cup and I'm definitely aiming at still being around. My goal is to be there with Australia in 2010."