Sports

After bowing out of World Cup, France looks ahead to brighter future as host of Euro 2016

  • France's Rio Mavuba walks off the pitch with his teammate Mathieu Valbuena (8) after Germany defeated France 1-0 to advance to the semifinals during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. Left is France's Eliaquim Mangala and Antoine Griezmann. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    France's Rio Mavuba walks off the pitch with his teammate Mathieu Valbuena (8) after Germany defeated France 1-0 to advance to the semifinals during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. Left is France's Eliaquim Mangala and Antoine Griezmann. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's Karim Benzema takes a drink at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

    France's Karim Benzema takes a drink at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's Laurent Koscielny reacts at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

    France's Laurent Koscielny reacts at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/David Vincent)  (The Associated Press)

There may have been tears as a young France squad made its World Cup exit on Friday, but the players say the experience gained in Brazil will help when their country hosts the European Championship in 2016.

That experience was gained the painful way at the Maracana stadium as France lost 1-0 to Germany in the quarterfinals, with Antoine Griezmann crying after the final whistle.

Only two France outfield players to appear at this World Cup are more than 29 years old, leaving plenty of room for progression before Euro 2016.

Captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris says "this World Cup will be a reference point for the years ahead for what is a very young, very talented team... we have to keep this momentum going over the next two years."