Mathew Leckie says the Socceroos team spirit shone through on the side's odds defying run to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Round of 16.
The 31-year-old captured the attention of the planet with a stunning solo winner against Denmark to secure the Socceroos' spot in the Round of 16.
Leckie also set a new record for most appearances by a Socceroo at the World Cup alongside Mat Ryan with ten.
The winger said the Socceroos had proved they could match it with the world’s best over the course of the tournament.
“It’s been an amazing couple of weeks, it’s just sad that we’re going home, it’s been a privilege to be part of this group,” Leckie said.
“Whether it’s the players or staff we’ve just got an amazing environment and it’s sad to be going home.
“We got out of the group and we had an amazing tournament against the odds, no one expected anything from us but we always knew we could compete and we believed that we would get out of the group.
“At the end of the day, we’ve lost against the defending champions, I think they’re rank number two in the world.
“We competed right until the end, there was that chance right at the end so the boys should be all proud but we’ve got an amazing team spirit.
“I think we’ve shown in this tournament that Australia, although we might not have the best individuals on the world scale, we’ve got an amazing team spirt.”
Leckie’s goal against Denmark was one of a number of moments that sparked wild celebrations at live sites around the country.
“We’ve seen footage of how the nation’s come together and really got behind us and that’s special for us, special for the country and hopefully we’ve got a few new fans in football,” Leckie said.
“I think we’ve inspired a lot of kids as well that have seen what we’ve been able to achieve and hopefully they can be determined to want to do the same one day.
“Time will tell what this tournament has done but I think it’ll only be positive.”