Kumar Sangakkara admitted winning the World Twenty20 meant "everything" to him after he signed off his Sri Lanka career in the shortest format with a man-of-the-match performance.
Sangakkara guided Sri Lanka to their first World Twenty20 title with an unbeaten 52 as the previously-unbeaten India fell to a six-wicket defeat.
It was the perfect end for Sangakkara, and fellow veteran Mahela Jayawardene, who had announced they would retire from Twenty20 cricket after the tournament.
"It means everything. My family and then playing for Sri Lanka are the two most important things that have happened to me in my life," the 36-year-old said.
"There are no words to explain the pride we feel. All the guys out there are an amazing bunch.
"We wear these colours with a lot of pride and a lot of love. I'll miss the colours when I go in any format but everyone has got to go and my time from this is now."
Sangakkara had only lifted a major global title once during his 14-year international career - when Sri Lanka shared the 2002 Champions Trophy following a wash-out in the final.
The island nation have since suffered a series of near misses, most notably since the World Twenty20 began in 2007.
Sri Lanka have lost two finals including the last on home soil to West Indies two years ago.
"It's been a long time coming," said a humble Sangakkara, who had struggled with the bat before the final.
"We waited six years (since the World Twenty20 started) and fifth final. I can't be happier or prouder because I think the side carried me all the way through to the final.
"I didn't do much other than keep wicket.
"I'm pretty happy that I was able to do something back for them and be a part of such a great side in a World Cup."
Jayawardene, who initially paced the pursuit of 130 for four with a run-a-ball 24, was looking forward to celebrating a long-awaited success with his team-mates.
"This we are going to enjoy with the younger crowd. Hopefully we can keep up," he said.
"We have played some great cricket over the past 10 years and I think this is the icing on the cake."
India had been forced to defend a below-par total despite Virat Kohli continuing his white-hot form.
The right-hander crashed 77 from 58 balls before he was run out from the final ball.
Kohli had been given a life on 11 when Lasith Malinga grassed a tough chance over his head at mid-wicket and he appeared set to make Sri Lanka pay in full.
Kohli helped to belt 16 from the 16th over, delivered by Nuwan Kulasekera, and at that point it appeared as though India were primed to launch a late assault.
It never arrived as just 19 were taken from the final four overs despite Kohli's presence.
He was frustrated by Yuvraj's Singh's 11 from 21 balls, before holing out off Kulasekara, before even Mahendra Singh Dhoni failed to supply the late hitting.
It proved crucial as Sri Lanka were always on target despite a nervy chase.
"I got going in the 16th (over) but after that I hardly faced any balls," he said.
"That was sort of annoying but I wouldn't say frustrating because the other people at the striker's end were trying to hit the ball but it wasn't coming off.
"It was one of those off days. It happens when you can't really time the ball. They were bowling in brilliant areas.
"We had a one-off day but the boys can be really proud with how we've played."
Kohli was named man of the tournament after hitting 319 runs, but admitted falling short in the final left a bitter taste.
"I am disappointed that we couldn't cross the line," he said.
"I was pretty happy with the way I was hitting the ball, keeping things simple and trying to stay in my zone. That worked for me.
"I've been playing well for the past two months and I thought why not make the most of my form.
"The most pleasing thing is that the team reached the final and I was able to contribute in almost every game that we played and that makes me happy."