Gigi Buffon felt Italy “once again honoured the jersey in the best possible way” after three saves in the penalty shoot-out.
The game ended 2-2 after 90 minutes and went to extra time, but the Azzurri could only get past Uruguay on penalties to secure third place in the Confederations Cup.
“Great pride from everyone, because today it was truly tough. It would’ve been even tougher if we didn’t have this character,” the goalkeeper told Rai Sport.
“We struggled during the game, but fought to the end and seeing as against Spain I couldn’t give my teammates joy, I did it today – albeit a bit late.
“It would’ve been disappointing not to win, as playing after two days in this heat it was so hard, but we had the right spirit and once again honoured the jersey in the best possible way.
“Today was difficult to judge, as the fact we walked on to the pitch rather than crawled was a miracle in itself. Managing to win shows just what our potential really is.”