David Beckham admitted England's miserable and humiliating defeat to Russia in their efforts to host the 2018 World Cup was 'crushing'.
The former England captain, part of the bid team which also included Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron, saw their hopes of securing the tournament destroyed on a miserable afternoon in Zurich.
Needing 12 votes from the 22 Fifa executive committee members, England were eliminated in the first round having garnered just two, as Russia went on to be awarded the hosting rights, seeing off the combined challenges of Spain/Portugal and Holland Belgium.
And Beckham, who had delivered a rousing speech as part of a slick final presentation, felt the bid team could have done little more in their efforts to bring the World Cup to England for the first time in 52 years.
He said: "When you put so much work into something and you don't get anything from it, then it is crushing.
"A lot of people have done a lot of hard work and we deserve to host the World Cup. Let's hope we get it at some point.
"The way we presented our country was exceptional. I think we would have put on one of the best World Cups in history."
Down the drain
Bid chief executive Andy Anson claimed Fifa members had lied about their votes and that £3million spent on England's glowing technical report was money wasted, as a total of £15million - FA money and cash from sponsors - was invested in the bid.
Anson said: "David Dein, myself, David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William were looking people in the eye and asking them for their vote and being told "yeah".
"I am not sure what else you could do."
Asked if the England bid team had been lied to, he replied: "I am not going to name names because that is not fair on individuals but clearly some people have. We thought we had more than six votes, perhaps seven or eight.
"The technical report is £3million down the drain by the looks of it. We spent £3million on it and it was the best one. The two bids with the worst technical reports won."
Russia, who now have a huge stadium building project on their hands, won an outright majority in the second round of voting.
In the 2022 contest, Qatar beat the United States in the final round of voting - another controversial decision for a desert country half the size of Wales, with no stadia and where June temperatures can top 50 degrees centigrade.
England 2018 leaders last month said that the bid had been damaged by a backlash against corruption investigations into Fifa members by BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times.
Beckham however said he hoped the suggestions about the anti-England backlash over the media were wrong.
The England midfielder said: "I've heard the rumours that we lost due to the British press. I hope that isn't the reason. I believe in a free press and they are incredibly supportive of the game I love."
Did Russia deserve to be awarded the 2018 World Cup?