The All Whites have bowed out of the World Cup in South Africa unbeaten and ahead of the World Cup holders, a far cry from the three heavy defeats in their only other appearance at the football finals.
The coach, players and fans could never have imagined a better result when Group F with Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia kicked off two weeks ago.
Ricki Herbert says he's disappointed but nobody is prouder than him about what this team has achieved, especially against Paraguay, the top team in the group.
Herbert was again full of praise for captain and central defender Ryan Nelsen and his two young team-mates in defence, Winston Reid and Tommy Smith.
And Herbert has told Football New Zealand chairman Frank Van Hattum that he'd love to be involved in the next campaign.