Sweden coach Lars Lagerback could not hide his disappointment after losing 2-0 to Russia and being eliminated from Euro 2008.
“It’s very sad, we haven’t experienced this since the tournament in 2000 in Belgium and Holland,” he said. “I have a very bitter feeling about it.
“In the second half we tried to lift the team higher up the pitch,” he said.
“But unfortunately they scored a second goal and it was more of an uphill struggle,” he added.
Sweden’s inability to make it out of Group D could now signal the end at this stage for some of their older players, including striker Henrik Larsson.
“A new generation is coming through,” said Lagerback.
“We had a number of younger players in this squad, but it’s about picking the best players regardless of their age.
“It’s not about age and experience, but the quality of the players.”