Skipper Sam Warburton says the Lions are happy enough with their drawn Test series against New Zealand, but says the All Blacks are still the world's finest team.
A captivating series ended in a 1-1 draw after Saturday's deciding Test at Eden Park finished 15-15.
Warburton, wheeling the trophy shared with the All Blacks on his luggage trolley as Warren Gatland's men touched down at Heathrow, could still take pride in the outcome while remaining aware of where the sport's true power lies.
The Lions are still "pretty pleased" with their achievement, he said.
"Coming into the tour not many people gave us much of a chance, the odds were against us, so to surprise a few people by drawing was good," Warburton told PA.
"It didn't surprise us because we believed we could do it, but to surpass people's expectations was good. We're still disappointed not to get the win.
"But without doubt New Zealand are the best team in the world. They're back-to-back world champions. Just because we drew it doesn't make us the best.
"They've earned the right to call themselves that because they've played so well over the last 10 years."