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Page last updated at 21:47 GMT, Thursday, 24 June 2010 22:47 UK

World Cup 2010: Blame me for Italy exit, insists Lippi

Vincenzo Iaquinta

Highlights - Slovakia 3-2 Italy

Outgoing Italy coach Marcello Lippi insists he is to blame after the 2006 winners were sent crashing out of the 2010 World Cup in the group stages.

Italy finished bottom of Group F after a 3-2 defeat by Slovakia on Thursday.

"I take all responsibility for what happened," said the 62-year-old, who is to be succeeded by Cesare Prandelli.

"If a team turns up with terror in their heart and legs, and is unable to express its ability, it's because the coach didn't train them as he should."

The Azzurri, who won the World Cup in Germany in 2006, suffered the embarrassment of finishing beneath New Zealand - who do not have a professional league in their country - as Paraguay and Slovakia qualified for the last 16.


Lippi's men collected just two points in South Africa after uninspiring draws with Paraguay and New Zealand.

"I didn't think we could win the World Cup but I thought we would do better," Lippi added.

"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, a national hero when he led the Azzurri to 2006 World Cup glory, had already announced he would step down again after the finals.

Lippi first quit straight after their triumph in Germany but returned in 2008 after Italy's disappointing European Championship campaign under Roberto Donadoni.

Kamil Kopunek

Kupenek scores Slovakia's third

"I don't regret coming back, I came back with great enthusiasm," he added.

"I have no intention of getting straight back into coaching and training after this. I'll take some months off and we will see.

Injured first-choice goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who did not play against Slovakia, thought that his country deserved to be knocked out of the tournament.

"Everybody had the desire, the dream to get through but we didn't and it's our fault," Buffon stated.

"Slovakia and New Zealand are teams worth respecting but nothing more and if we can't beat at least one of them it's only fair that we go home. We will have to look at what happened."

Italy's Fabio Quagliarella

Quagliarella's exquisite chip

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see also
Fantastic Slovakia delight Weiss
24 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Vittek doubles Slovakia's lead
24 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Italy lack edge, says sorry Lippi
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nelsen ecstatic after draw with Italy
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Herbert praises New Zealand resilience
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights: Italy 1-1 New Zealand
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Iaquinta scores penalty for Italy
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Italy's Pirlo to miss two matches
10 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Rossi left out of Italy Cup squad
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Italy
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
Zidane off as Italy win World Cup
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