Coach Jacques Santini was left devastated after France’s shock 1-0 defeat to Greece.
France were stunned by outsiders Greece, who earned a semi-final place at Euro 2004 courtesy of a Angelos Charisteas goal midway through the second half.
“It is a big disappointment because the adventure has come to an end when we hoped to go all the way,” Santini said.
“We weren’t thinking clearly towards the end of the match. We were just rushing forwards and that was not the best way to go about it.
“In the first half, the Greeks deserved to score but after half-time the reverse was true.”
“Once we went behind, we seemed to want to play as fast as possible.
“There was too much wasted technique, and at the end of the game we lacked lucidity.
“We came up against a very tightly-knit defence.
“Our adventure has come to an end, even though, like the other seven teams in the quarter-finals we could have gone all the way to the final.”
Winger Robert Pires was at a loss for words when asked to explain France’slistless performance.
“I don’t know what went wrong, there are no words to explain it,” said the Arsenal midfielder.
“It’s the end of an era.
“Now we have to think of other things, mainly the 2006 World Cup which is coming up on the horizon.”
Meanwhile, Zinedine Zidane acknowledged that France’s golden era appears to be over.
“It could be the end of a cycle.
“We’re all responsible for our elimination, we did not pull together,” added Zidane.