Time for new herd of Elephants?
Perhaps it was predictable that Ivory Coast's Elephants should do their best rampaging just 30 miles from the Kruger National Park but the question now is whether this 'golden generation' will be put out to grass.
Following their early exit, Didier Drogba was immediately asked whether he'd be back for Brazil 2014.
"That's a good question but I don't know what the future will hold," the Ivorian captain replied. "All I know is that I'm proud to be part of this team."
Ivory Coast's all-time top scorer will be 36 by the next World Cup, while all the rest of the starting line-up in Nelspruit - bar Gervinho, just 23, and Cheik Ismael Tiote - will also be in their 30s.
So the first decision for whoever replaces Sven-Goran Eriksson is whether to retain the Toure brothers, Didier Zokora, Emmanuel Eboue or to focus on the youth instead.
Didier Zakora's centre back partnership with Kolo Toure has been a revelation
Unsurprisingly, veteran Zokora, who's won 88 caps since his debut in 2000, believes his generation deserves one final chance.
"We now have great confidence for the next African Cup of Nations - because we want to win things and have big players in Europe," says the Sevilla man.
When put to him that the Ivorian camp has been saying this for the last four years, Zokora's riposte did at least contain some fresh material.
"I'm really confident because Eriksson changed a lot in the team. The key change is that we're now playing together as a team whereas there was lots of individuality beforehand.
"In the past, we'd give the ball to a Gervinho or Salomon Kalou who would dribble and lose possession but now when we lose the ball, we close down space as we've become very disciplined."
No-one would argue with that as the Swede has overseen an impressive turnaround in the Elephants' organisation - starting by pairing Zokora with Toure to tighten the defence.
Friends since childhood, the duo have so enjoyed playing together at the back, just as they used to before embarking on their European careers, that they've taken to calling each other 'Cannavaro' (Kolo) and 'Nesta' (Zokora).
But the problem for Zokora's dreams is that Eriksson, surely the highest-calibre coach the West African nation has ever had, will be leaving the job despite his impressive showing after just one month with the players.
"It's a pity we're leaving South Africa as the team is getting better and better in every game and training session," ventured Eriksson, who - with the benefit of hindsight - now regrets not going all out for victory against Portugal.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's success has a big task awaiting
"I wish we had been in a different group."
It's a sentiment his opposite number, Kim Jong-Hun, shared.
Rather bizarrely, the men who locked horns at the colourful Mbombela Stadium first met in Pyongyang last year as Eriksson travelled to North Korea to discuss football projects with the then 'owners' of Notts County.
It's hard to imagine the conversation was too inspiring as the North Korea coach gives little away, his seemingly-lengthy answers in press conferences actually revealing next-to-nothing.
"We might go for the attack, we might go for the defence but it will depend on the situation and how the game flows," he announced on Thursday.
"If needed, we will be more aggressive and if we need to be more defensive, we will focus on that."
Indeed. Such monochrome chat is in stark contrast to the wonderful colour emanating from Diego Maradona's press conferences, but then just getting close to a North Korean player has proved too much of a challenge for many of the world's media in South Africa.
Even those conducting interviews on behalf of tournament organisers were required to send in their intended questions 48 hours beforehand so that they could be vetted.
But Jong Tae-Se, perhaps risking the wrath of his homeland, has dared to suggest that such reclusive behaviour from those representing the 'hermit state' should be abandoned.
"Everybody thinks our country is very closed and mysterious, and we have to change that," says the 'People's Rooney', who was overcome with emotion before the match against Brazil.
"We can change for the better if we review this closed style and refusal to honour interviews."
It's something others squad members may wish for as little seems to have changed since the Koreans' 1966 World Cup debut when the players were, according to World Soccer magazine, forbidden 'wine, women and song' for months before the finals.
This time, they rarely ventured outside of their hotel rooms save to eat or train so one wonders how they will reflect on their World Cup adventure in the years to come.
That said, one of the squad has an eternal memento after swapping shirts with a Premier League star.
Having waited sheepishly outside the Elephants' dressing room, the North Korean received his shirt with great excitement until he saw the name on the back - 'Eboue' - whereupon he shook his head as if to explain there'd been some terrible mistake!
But just like the draw that paired these two teams with Brazil and Portugal, he had to accept what he'd been given.
"You can't be too disappointed when exiting a group like this," Drogba, whose shirt the Korean had been hoping for, said simply.
"We have a good team and good players but Brazil and Portugal are better than us. In an easier group, perhaps we'd have gone through."