Devastated Ivan Franjic has issued a parting warning to World Cup superpowers: beware Australia.
Franjic believes Australia will shock the Netherlands or Spain in their remaining group matches in Brazil.
“We can compete with the best nations in the world, I truly believe so,” injured defender Franjic told reporters on Sunday.
“I know that in the next few games, Holland and Spain are going to get a bit of a surprise … I think there is an upset coming in one of those two games.”
Franjic will return home nursing a torn left hamstring which ended his World Cup.
The Brisbane Roar defender’s injury came while contesting a header in Australia’s tournament opening 3-1 loss to Chile in Cuiaba on Friday.
“There’s just no explanation for it,” Franjic said of his injury.
“I’m just devastated, to be completely honest.”
Franjic initially held some hope of scans showing a minor strain, but that was dashed when he woke the next morning.
“I had power after, it might have been adrenaline still kicking in there. But the next day when I woke up, I knew it was just gone,” he said.
“It’s a weird one because I looked back at the week and where I have gone wrong – didn’t I stretch a certain area or something?
“And I can’t pick a point where I was unprofessional and did something out of the ordinary.”
The 26-year-old took some solace from actually playing in a World Cup – the right-back delivered a canny cross to Tim Cahill for Australia’s sole goal against Chile.
“Personally, I got a lot out of it,” he said.
“Obviously when you first come into camp, you don’t want to make a mistake and you want to impress the older boys.
“And now I really feel a part of it. My confidence was high, and especially after that (goal) assist, I just felt like I was booming and I had a lot to offer.”
He said Australia’s spirited fightback after conceding two goals to Chile in the initial 15 minutes showed the Socceroos could match it with the world’s best.
“Chile is a great nation, you can’t take anything away from them,” Franjic said.
“The first 15 minutes were hard to explain, they just came at us and it looked like we went back a bit.
“And then … we just saw they’re as normal as us and Australia is right up there.”