Matfield captained the side on his 127th Test appearance for his country, retiring as the most-capped South African player of all time.
"To have come out of retirement at his age and still be playing the level of rugby that makes it worthwhile to have been back... he said from the beginning that he was only going to come back because he believed this team had something special, and we were two points, maybe another 20 minutes, away from getting to a World Cup final," Habana told Sports Mole.
"Victor is a true colossus of the game. He will go down and be remembered as one of the guys who number-five locks who want to be mentored will look up to. There are few that you could probably count on one hand - you think of the likes of Paul O'Connell and Victor Matfield, they spring to mind pretty easily. It's unbelievable."
Matfield and Habana were both members of the South Africa squad that won the World Cup in 2007.