Graziano Pellè wants to “apologise to all Italians” for his penalty howler, but denied he was “provoking” Manuel Neuer.
The Southampton striker scuffed his spot-kick wide during last night’s Euro 2016 quarter-final shoot-out with Germany.
As he walked up to take the penalty, he made a gesture to Neuer implying he was about to do a Panenka-style chip.
“Do my Euros remain positive? I couldn’t care less right now, I am just sad and want to apologise to all Italians,” Pellè told news agency Ansa and Sky Sport Italia.
“If I had scored that penalty, I’d have become a phenomenon, but instead… I arrived here as a nobody and I leave as a nobody.
“I am sorry to everyone, but let nobody say I was trying to provoke Neuer. I don’t even think he noticed. By making the ‘chip’ gesture I was merely trying to encourage him to stay in the centre of the goal.
"He was moving around a lot and I wanted him to stay still. At the end Neuer saluted me and said I was a great player."
There is also footage of Pellè’s girlfriend in the stands in Bordeaux after the incident.
She can be seen mouthing: “I knew he was going to miss that, what a…”