James Milner admits having a brief taste of life in Rio has left him desperate to return with England for next year's World Cup.
England had spent most of the week taking flak from outside the camp, but last night they restored some pride by coming away from the Maracana with a creditable 2-2 draw against Brazil.
Had the criticism from the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker affected the squad in any way, it certainly did not show during the squad's four-day trip to South America.
It was all smiles as a few members of the team visited a Sport Relief project in a Rio favela on Thursday and a handful of players, including Milner, happily posed for pictures after visiting the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the vast awe-inspiring city.
The squad mixed with locals on the Copacabana beach shortly after their arrival and Milner has been left in awe by the whole experience.
"Experiencing Rio has helped us massively," the Manchester City midfielder said.
"We are all desperate to finish the job and qualify for the World Cup. You don't get too many chances to play in World Cups, but playing a World Cup in Brazil... just being here for the last few days, I have seen the love they have for the game.
"They play head tennis and beach football every single day. You can sense the love and the atmosphere in the ground, it's going to be some tournament next year.
"If you don't want to play in a World Cup in Brazil after the last few days then you never will."
The 1-1 draw against Ireland sparked talk of a return to the "Dark Ages" by Lineker while Ferdinand responded to the stalemate against the world no. 39 by remarking that England had failed to consistently perform over the last 10 years.
England will be five points off the summit of World Cup qualifying Group H on Friday if Montenegro beat Ukraine, but wins in their remaining four fixtures will seal the team's passage to Brazil 2014.
Milner feels much can be taken from last night's 2-2 draw against Luiz Felipe Scolari's side, which came courtesy of goals from Wayne Rooney and substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
"It's obviously a good result, although we're slightly disappointed not to win when we were ahead," Milner said.
"You don't want to finish on a bad note and then have four weeks to go and think about it before you can put it right.
"I thought it was a really good performance. I thought the boys who came off the bench made a big impact as well so it was a pleasing in a great place to play that's also difficult to come."
When Milner comes back from holiday he will, most likely, be playing under Manuel Pellegrini, who is said to be close to being named as Manchester City manager.
Milner was reluctant to comment on the possibility of the Malaga manager joining up with City next season, although he hopes the team will be able to wrest the title back from Manchester United, regardless of who is in charge at the Etihad Stadium.
"Obviously there are strong rumours at the moment so until it's announced I don't want to say too much," Milner said.
"But it's a fresh start and hopefully we can hit the ground running, start well next year, and win that title back."