Moscow: England captain Harry Kane could not hide his desperate disappointment after his side's 2-1 extra-time defeat against Croatia in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Moscow on Wednesday.
"We're gutted. It hurts, it hurts a lot," Kane said after the match at the Luzhniki Stadium.
"It's going to hurt for a while of course. We can hold our heads up high. It's been a fantastic journey, we got further than anyone else thought we would have," he added.
Playing in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, England took a fifth-minute lead through Kieran Trippier's superb free-kick.
But Croatia summoned the strength to come back in the second half, equalising through Ivan Perisic before Mario Mandzukic got the winner in the 109th minute.
"It's been great to get to this stage and we know we've done everyone proud but we wanted to go on and win it," Kane added.
"We thought we were just good enough, we thought we could have done that. But we've fallen just a bit short. It hurts. I don't know what else to say."
Manager Gareth Southgate said England "left everything out there" after falling to an extra-time defeat by Croatia in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
England were hoping to reach a first World Cup final since 1966, but let an early lead slip to lose 2-1.
"I think in the first half we were really good and maybe we could have got another goal," Southgate told ITV.
"I can't ask for more from the players. I think knockout football is about fine margins and when you have good spells against fine sides you need to take your chances.
"Tonight we weren't quite there but we will learn from that. We left everything out there."
Southgate said the players were deeply disappointed, but that his young team could achieve great things in the years to come, with the European Championship just two years away.
"It's impossible to say anything to make the players feel better at this moment in time," he said.
"We have to be proud of what we've achieved. I don't think anyone could have given any more.
"Players had run out of steam but that's partly their age -- they're still physically maturing. Croatia have hardened warriors whose understanding of big matches at times came to the fore.
"The players have to go through big matches and experiences to become a team that can win. They have to use this experience for benefit and I know that what's happened over the last few weeks will make them a stronger team."
Kane looks set to claim the Golden Boot as the World Cup's leading scorer, but the Tottenham star rarely looked like adding to his six goals against Croatia.