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Azzurri Bow Out with Heads Held High

Italy was left crestfallen after losing to world champion Spain on penalties in the Confederations Cup Semifinal on Thursday. The Azzurri had the better of the play for long periods of the 120-minute game, but neither side managed to score and Spain eventually squeaked by 7-6 on penalties.

After the game, Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon said: “Only one team can win when it gets to penalties and, even if it hurts, we have to accept it,” adding: “Soccer is like that.” The Juventus keeper rued missing one penalty in particular: “That Andres Iniesta penalty,” he said. “I’m really disappointed that I didn’t get to the Iniesta penalty. It was really close to my hand and had I stopped that then we would perhaps be talking about something else now.” Nevertheless, he added, “I’m proud of what we did,” he added. “There is no need to party about it, but I believe that many have appreciated the way we played and suffered.”

Defender Giorgio Chiellini reflected on the difficult conditions and said Italy should have won: “We were confident we’d have a good game and in all honesty it went better than expected, as if there was a team that should’ve won tonight it was us,” the Juve man stated. “In extra time I couldn’t wait for it to end, as I was wrecked. The heat was incredible, we were struggling to breathe and could barely finish the match.” He added: “It’s a shame and we go out with heads held high…At the moment all we feel is frustration.”

Read the whole story at Football Italia »

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