JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Marcello Lippi took all responsibility for Italy's stunning 3-2 loss to Slovakia and an early exit of the World Cup after a Group F match here on Thursday.
|Italy's coach Marcello Lippi reacts during the 2010 World Cup Group F|
soccer match against Slovakia at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg,
South Africa, June 24, 2010. Italy lost 2-3 and failed to progress
to the next round. (Xinhua/Wang Yuguo)
Italy only took two points from the previous two group matches and the third round proved to be a must-win. But the Azzurri failed to meet the standards of reigning champions, crashing out of the group stage.
"I take all responsibility for what happened, no excuses," Lippi made a statement in a post-match press conference. "If the team showed us just the game like tonight, that means the coach is simply unable to train the team well psychologically and technically. It's evident."
"I didn't expect to end my experience with the Federation in such a fashion and I did expect a performance differently," said the 62-year old Lippi, who took the Italian team to the champions in 2006 World Cup.
Lippi departed the Azzurri after their success in 2006. And he took over the team again after the 2008 Euro Cup.
"I failed to train the team well enough. I did expect something form the game but it didn't happen," he added. "Who trained the players? who deployed the players? Me."
Lippi didn't admit that his comeback was a fiasco. "I came back with enthusiasm. I'm not saying that I want to replicate the success in 2006 but I really expect we could perform differently."
Lippi planned to take a few months off after the World Cup. "And we'll see," said he.
"I'll be be out there to take on criticism, and actually you start to take on criticism before the match," he added. "Good luck to my successor and thanks to everyone for the last four years."
Lippi will be succeeded by Cesare Prandelli, who used to be head coach of Fiorentina.