There are mixed feelings from the Italian press after Spain ran rampant and crushed their beloved Azurri 4-0.
Although the press conceded that the better team won, they still have pride for the national side that managed to surpass expectations and reach the final. However certain criticism is directed at Blues coach Cesare Prandelli.
La Gazetto dello Sport tells the story of how an "invinsible army" downed their Italian side who also deserve "applause" for their efforts in the tournament.
The sympathetic headline "thanks anyway" shows that the press can't be too angry at the Azurri for their efforts, but it does also mention that the Italians "screwed up" the final and added "the game was decided in the first half". The Italians knew they were going to struggle after going 2-0 down to the reigning champions.
Whilst some of the press admits that the brilliance of Spain was too much to handle and are understanding of the defeat, the Corriere dello Sport really threw the kitchen sink at Prandelli and believe that the loss was "embarrassing".
This morning's edition exclaimed "Prandelli, but what have you done?"
Corriere questioned his tactical changes, especially the first at half time when Prandelli replaced Antonio Cassano with Antonio Di Natale and said "Cassano was our best player on the pitch".
Similarly with Riccardo Montolivo's replacement Corriere asserted that "this time the coach has made a mistake" and Montolivo seemed to be playing better and better.
On the other hand La Repubblica observed that "obviously this is not a criticism of Prandelli-the coach was the main architect of the good impression made by the blues at the tournament" but maybe the boss "could have given more energy" to the team.
La Repubblica's view was that the Italians were in bad "physical condition" and could not compete as well as they had done in previous matches, perhaps due to their tough schedule.
The paper also added that the loss was a "big disappointment" after coming so far and displayed a picture of a distraught Mario Balotelli, who was extremely influential for the Blues on route to the final.
Tutto Sport opted for a picture of their veteran captain Gianliugi Buffon after he conceded Italy's fourth goal and consoled the nation with the headline: "Italy don't cry".
The Turin-based sports newspaper weren't too disheartened by the Azurri's defeat and proudly stated: "Legendary Spain, but we return with our heads held high".
It's editorial was full of praise for the Italian national team: "we are champions anyway". Tutto Sport seemed very content that Italy had reached the European Championship final and were defeated by the superior side.Reuse content