Gareth Bale is certain, Wales exploits at the Euro 2016 will earn them more respect from other nations.
Wales had a beautiful run in France, only to crash out at the semifinals to Portugal. With Ronaldo and Nani scoring two goals in the space of three minutes in the second half.
Bale could not score his fourth goal of the tournament. And is certain his teammates will be viewed differently after claiming victories over Slovakia, Russia, Northern Ireland and Belgium.
“I think we’ve grown in confidence and grown in stature,” he said. “We’ll be more respected now. We said all along, we don’t just want to qualify for this tournament; we want to qualify for major tournaments every time we go into qualifiers.
“The hunger’s there, the spirit’s there. We’ll take all the positives and go into the next campaign trying to pull that off again.
“We always wanted to test ourselves against the best countries in the world. I think we’ve done everybody proud, done ourselves proud. We can hold our heads high and give it a right go again.”
Wales kick off their bid to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia against Moldova at Cardiff City Stadium in September, in a group also featuring Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland and Georgia.
“Our hunger is there more than ever now,” Bale said. “There is still a lot more to come, still a lot more to improve from us lot.
“Come the World Cup qualifiers, which are not too far away, we’ll get straight back to working hard and doing what we do best.
He added: “We have to be happy with what we’ve achieved. It hurts now because it’s fresh.
“We’ve been on an amazing journey. The whole nation has enjoyed the whole experience as much as us.
“It’s been one of those moments in life that you’ll never forget and is very special to all of us.”