"Ante said 'Saturday we submit the squad. You train Friday and we'll put you in'," she said. "Thursday was my build-up session and I couldn't get through it.

"I got to 70 per cent and I just stopped and broke down. And broke down crying. I said, 'I'm done'. And it all hit me. That was really hard.

"But it was harder going back and seeing the girls and seeing their reactions. They were all wishing me good luck. Fingers crossed. They were all so hopeful and I was too.

"It was the killer of hope. That's what hurts now looking back on it."

The Matildas were devastated by Alleway's exit, though a replacement was already at hand.

On the advice of assistant Gary van Egmond, Milicic turned to young fullback Roestbakken, overlooking other centre backs with Caitlin Cooper at the front of the queue.

It turned out to be an inspired choice; Roestbakken jumped ahead of her positional rivals to make three appearances in France.

Alleway was not surprised.

"She's a jet," she said of Roestbakken. "We got close training in Sydney preparing. I was so impressed by her.

"She's so respectful and humble and mature; and such a good footballer. When the squad first got announced I told her 'I'm gutted for you because I thought you'd be on that plane'.

"Then she got here because of me and I was like: 'I jinxed myself'.

"I was honestly really stoked for her. She's fit in so well. She's the future of this team, and a future Matildas captain."

Alleway mentored Roestbakken through the tournament over the phone, watching all the matches in France from the stands.

And from distance, she found a new way to sing Logarzo's beloved pump-up song - Alicia Keys' Superwoman - to her teammate.

"When I had to depart the group, I'd given my final words to everyone, she handed me a phone and I knew exactly what she wanted," she said.

"I ran into the room next door, put the video on and filmed myself singing it. I usually sing it to her before matches in person but this way ... she loved it."

Logarzo was player of the match against Brazil in Australia's finest performance in France, with their campaign ending on Sunday morning (AEST) after the tough penalty shootout loss to Norway.

The team will be back in competitive action next year in Olympic qualifiers, and Alleway plans to be there after rehab.

Although it seems she barely even left, right down to Milicic putting her shirt in the locker rooms through the tournament.

"When I learned that I cried again," she said. "Ante told Chad our kit man that my jersey has to be hung up in there, which obviously means the world to me.

"That I can still be here and support them means so much to me. To see how much it meant to them as well was really humbling."