Four years after he guided Italy to the World Cup title, Coach Marcello Lippi's team finished last in Group F, which was considered the weakest of the tournament.
"I take all responsibility," said Lippi after a 3-2 loss to Slovakia sent the Italians packing. "I haven't prepared this team well enough. I didn’t think we could win the World Cup but I though we would do better. I failed to train the team well enough. They weren’t ready for such an important match. For an hour and 15 minutes, for psychological reasons I think, nothing worked."
The 62-year-old Lippi, who left the team after their 2006 triumph but returned to the helm in 2008, had already announced he would step down again after the tournament, and will replaced by Cesare Prandelli. “I don’t regret coming back, I came back with great enthusiasm,” he added.