Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, believes they paid the prize for not being dirty at the World Cup.
Nigeria crashed out at the group stage following a painful 2-1 defeat to Argentina.
Balogun, 30, who started all three games for the Eagles has blamed the team’s softness for the exit.
“It’s always important when you play internationals to be a bit dirty,” the new Brighton man told BBC Sport.
“That’s what Argentina has, definitely, and you also need to be cold-blooded – that’s probably the most important (lesson from this World Cup).”
But Balogun, who has been capped 22 times, believes the future is bright for the country.
“It will be very important to keep going the way we have started,” he said.
“We have experienced players, young players, talented players – and there are even more players that are not in the team yet – and we have to keep developing them and investing in their football education.
“We just have to keep working and keep our focus on advancing year after year and then in the next four years we will have a good team – maybe an even better one.”