The years of hurt will go on for England thanks after their loss in the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra-time.
The Three Lions gave it their all in front of a home crowd a Wembley, roared on by supporters who barely rested as they electrified the west London air.
Sadly, there always has to be a defeated side in these contests and it is especially cruel when it is a result of penalties.
But no blame can be apportioned to them, these heroes have done so much for a nation.
Our 26 Lions came together after a tough year-and-a-half, bent and boughed, but firm and ready to give their all.
They will not be the villains of this piece, even Roy Keane can’t bring himself to cast them in that role.
He told ITV: “Instead of criticising the players who missed, admire the players who stepped up.”
And we will admire them.
They are youngsters ready to carry the nation forward, and not just on the pitch either. They are socially conscious difference makers.
They are incredible and stepped up when their nation called on them and we will be there for them as they dust themselves down.
Footballers around the world congratulated Italy, but also gave their assessment of England.
Ashley Cole knows how those who missed the penalties feel, he was also unable to score a spot-kick against the Azzurri back in 2012.
He said on ITV: “It’s heart-breaking seeing them like this – they’ve made this country proud… the way they’ve engaged with the fans, they’ve really got the country behind them. They’ve shown so much pride and passion wearing this shirt.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan told of his pride too, such is the impact the heroes have had.
He said: “On behalf of all Londoners, I want to thank the magnificent England squad for their amazing performances over the last month.
“They have inspired and united our nation both on and off the pitch at every turn. We could not be any prouder of what you have achieved.
“I’m sure that this is the start of things to come for this fantastic squad of players and their remarkable manager.
“You have captured the imagination of the entire nation – and this tournament will live long in the memories of everyone across our city and country.”
England were at least given their moments in the match, beautiful but fleeting moments.
Luke Shaw’s goal got us dreaming and believing, up and down a nation.
The beer flew, the emotions flowed, and football was coming home again.
Two huge saves from Jordan Pickford sent Wembley wild and England roared back during the shootout.
But it wasn’t to be and while it is a loss, this is a moment for growth.
And England captain Harry Kane offered words of encouragement for the three players who missed penalties in the shootout.
He told talkSPORT everyone was hugely disappointed.
“It’s hard to take and were desperate to win but it wasn’t our night.
“Penalties are penalties and we should be proud of what we’ve done. I told [the three players who missed] to keep their heads up high,” adding they will look towards the World Cup next.
Manager Gareth Southgate paid tribute to his Saka and the other youngsters who missed from the spot and will be there for them as the nation moves forward.
“He’s not alone,” he told talkSPORT. “He’ll never be on his own as far as we’re concerned.
“He’s been an absolute star in this tournament.
“I have to take the responsibility with that call because in the end that’s my decision. It hasn’t worked.
“So anything should come back on me and not on him.”
None of these heroes will be alone, and that includes Southgate too.
They will be cherished and we cannot wait for this group to assemble again on the road to the 2022 World Cup.
England’s future is bright and Saka, Sancho, and Rashford are going to be a huge part of it.
Hold your heads up high. We will back.