France captain Thierry Dusautoir paid tribute to Ireland's Paul O'Connell after the lock was stretchered during Sunday's game in Cardiff.
O'Connell is expected to be ruled out of the rest of the Rugby World Cup with a serious hamstring injury, ending his time in international rugby after 114 Tests caps for his country and the British and Irish Lions.
“I am very sad for him because he is such a great player," Dusautoir said.
"Ireland would have needed him against Argentina. I don’t know more about his injury.
“He’s a huge fighter and I respect him a lot. After Brian O’Driscoll, he may be another huge player to retire.”
Concentrating on his own team Dusautoir lamented their lack of a cutting edge in attack, finishing their 24-9 defeat without a try.
“We didn’t have enough continuity in our offensive game, we made too many mistakes and were not able to have fast ball," he said.
“Right now we’re all very tired and disappointed. But we have a match coming up, and it’s a quarter-final, so it will be very important.”
A quarter-final against the All Blacks in Cardiff no less, where eight years ago France stunned New Zealand in one of the tournament's great upsets.
Dusautoir knows the current French side will be big outsiders, but won't rule out springing another surprise.
“As long as we are in the tournament we have a chance. Personally, I played them 11 or 12 times, we always were the underdogs, and we still managed to defeat them a couple of times," Dusautoir stated.
“What matters now is to get over our disappointment and to get some rest, because tonight was a very intense game and we are playing again in six days.
"Everything’s always possible.”