Gigi Buffon said this was “a very sad day for Italy as a nation. It’s a day of failure, there’s no point denying it.”
The goalkeeper spoke to Sky Sport Italia after the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in Natal, having also lost 1-0 to Costa Rica.
“This is a very, very sad day for us as a football nation, as a group, as individual players and as a nation.
“It is a day of failure, there’s no point denying it or beating about the bush. It just leaves us with a sense of frustration.
“There were too many expectations after the first game, but then in the next two we failed to score and deserved to go out.”
Italy also crashed out in the first round of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but Buffon insisted they were unrelated.
“We did very well in Euro 2012 and the Confederations Cup, so we call for honesty from all those who criticise and analyse the squad.
“They keep saying Pirlo, Buffon, Barzagli, Chiellini, etc are too old, then when push comes to shove those are the first names people rely on. There ought to be more respect not just for what they represented, but for the players they still are today.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!