Players Analysis on Italy's Early Exit

This was the first Italian exit at the group phase of the World Cup since 1974. The wounds ran very deep but the old guard didn’t sugarcoat their analysis of what went wrong. Below are are some quotes from notable Azzurri players regarding Italy's performance and the early exit.

Gigi Buffon: “We have never demonstrated being able to compete with teams on a higher level.”

“If in three games, two of those with New Zealand and Slovakia that you can’t win even one, it is proper to return home and try to understand what happened. Against Paraguay, perhaps it was the best game, above all in terms of intensity and the desire to create something.

Things went worse against New Zealand and today, despite the convulsion in the final minutes, we have never demonstrated being able to compete with teams on a higher level. From a physical standpoint, I did not see massive gaps. In my opinion, there was more a lack of ideas. Especially after the injury to Pirlo.”

Andrea Pirlo: “We were not a strong group like the one from last time.”

“We couldn’t win one match in a winnable group. Therefore, there was something that didn’t go well from the start. We’re sorry for the whole nation. We came to the World Cup with many new players and such pressure and we were not a strong group like the one from last time. We could have done much more, even without Pirlo (he used his own name). I did everything to get back as fast as possible but it was in vain. Cesare Prandelli will know what to do. The team will need to start over.”

Rino Gattuso: “Italian football has to examine its conscience.”

“Italian football has to examine its conscience. Tonight we hit rock bottom. We have to assume all of our responsibilities. I hope for the national team that the next manager will construct a great group and put a competitive team on the field. It was my last game wearing the Azzurri shirt and worse than this I can’t imagine. The curtain has fallen and you go forward. What do I say to Italian supporters? I understand that there is such bitterness. Even I in their place would be bitter. We have to accept everything.”

Daniele De Rossi: “We can’t look for alibis.

“There is only one analysis: With two points in three games, it is right to go home. In the first two games, we had good games. Today we got the first half wrong. In the second half, we grew and could have passed with a little more clinical finishing in the goalmouth. It wasn’t enough. All of the players must blame themselves.”

Source : La Gazzetta dello Sport

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