Even after their conquerors have also been conquered, Super Eagles players are still ruing what could have been. 

Leon Balogun believes if they had known football's darker arts, the Super Eagles would not have exited the tournament by losing to Argentina.

"It's always important when you play internationals to be a bit dirty," the defender, 30, told BBC Sport.

"That's what Argentina has, definitely, and you also need to be cold-blooded - that's probably the most important (lesson from this World Cup)."

The Super Eagles would have made the round of 16 but just four minutes from the end of their campaign, Marcos Rojo's late strike sunk Nigeria and ended a World Cup dreams of over 180 million Nigreians.

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The deed is done and Nigerians only expect them to brace up and bring back happy times as the 2019 Nations Cup qualifiers resume in September.

"It will be very important to keep going the way we have started," the new Brighton and Hove Albion signing added.

"We have experienced players, young players, talented players - and there are even more players that are not in the team yet - and we have to keep developing them and investing in their football education.

"We just have to keep working and keep our focus on advancing year after year and then in the next four years we will have a good team - maybe an even better one."

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