Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez believes his side has proved themselves as world class in South Africa this summer.
The South Americans suffered a 3-2 defeat to Germany in the World Cup third-place play-off match on Saturday after being knocked out by Holland in the semi-finals.
But Tabarez lauded his team's campaign in the tournament, insisting they have exceeded expectations.
"We showed our purpose and intentions, on a level playing field against a great opponent," said Tavarez.
"The match was contested by two teams who really wanted to finish in third place, by two teams who gave everything.
"We showed we can play any team in the world, there's nothing above this. We lost, but we could have won."
Uruguay have been the surprise success story of the World Cup, progressing from a difficult group to beat South Korea and Ghana in the knock-out rounds, and Tabarez hailed their hard work throughout the tournament.
"Uruguay have been one of the surprises of the tournament and we still don't realise what's happened back home," he added.
"I received an email on Friday from a lady I didn't know who said, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you for having changed the image of our country'.
"I'm surprised, it's the beauty of sport and the serious work we've accomplished."