Callum McGregor says a “tough” learning experience at Euro 2020 has left the Scotland squad hungry to qualify for more major tournaments.
The Scotland goalscorer was speaking following the 3-1 defeat to Croatia that brought the curtain down on their first major competition in 23 years.
The 28-year-old was full of praise for the Tartan Army, who made their voices heard despite only 12,000 fans being allowed into Hampden for the two games played there.
He said: “The lads are shattered, we put so much energy into it, the fans were amazing again so we want to thank them for their input.
“We wanted to give them something to cheer, but I think we just came up against too much quality in the end.
“That’s what you are up against at this level and it is a tough lesson.”
The Celtic midfielder scored Scotland’s only goal of the tournament with a superb strike which was also his first for the national team.
But he said the moment was bittersweet as Croatia joined England and Czech Republic in the last 16.
McGregor said: “It’s always nice to score, and get my first Scotland goal, which was a proud moment, but ultimately we are disappointed in the result.
“It’s been an amazing experience, we have all learned so much, such a tough learning experience, but it just gives you the hunger to get to this level again.
“We have a World Cup next year and we want to make sure we are on that stage.”