Lippi takes the blame for Italy exit.
After Italian football fans spent a frustrating afternoon watching their team crash out of the 2010 World Cup to debutants Slovakia, boss Marcello Lippi has put his hands up.
For the third consecutive match, the Azzurri conceded an early goal, and this time they never recovered.
Lippi said after the match that he has no doubt that the quality is there for Italy to succeed but that it was his motivational skills which were lacking: "I still believe in (the team) very strongly, it was not a matter of overestimating them. You can't believe that this Italian team is the team you saw out there, I believe this group could have done better than it did. Evidently I have failed to do what was necessary," he said.
It was the end of an era for Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro and midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, who already announced they would retire from the national team after the tournament and Lippi is also moving on, with Cesare Prandelli already named as his successor.
Paraguay won Group F with five points, and Slovakia finished second with four points. New Zealand exited with three points and Italy was last with two, marking the first time the Azzurri have finished last in their group.
With France also eliminated, its the first time that both previous World Cup finalists have been sent home after the group phase.
Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.
Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.
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