Italy headed home from Brazil after being eliminated from World Cup at the group stage. Sam Lewis picks out the performers from the flops.
Was typically solid and athletic when needed, displaying that he still had that elite shot stopping ability with a collection of excellent saves against Uruguay.
Salvatore Sirigu: 7
Did his reputation no harm with an excellent display against England, where he responded well to a last minute call-up. Could be first choice in 2018.
Mattia Perin: No Rating
The youngster came along for the ride, a position confirmed by a mistake laden appearance in Brazil before the tournament started. Here’s hoping he learned something.
Matteo Darmian: 7
Perhaps the only player who improved his market value at the World Cup, Darmian was a surprise weapon for Cesare Prandelli and impressed many with his confidence.
Mattia De Sciglio: 6
Only made one appearance because of injury, and occasionally displayed the naivety that a player of his age is perhaps still expected to carry. Room for improvement.
Andrea Barzagli: 6
Probably Italy’s best starting centre-back this tournament, but was still troubled by pace and ingenuity against England and Costa Rica.
Giorgio Chiellini: 5
Will have victim status because of the marks left on his shoulder by Luis Suarez, but Chiellini was a train-wreck in Brazil.
Ignazio Abate: 6
Always gives his all but is pretty limited as a full-back, especially defensively. Nothing impressive or remarkable, but hardly to blame for the early exit either.
Gabriel Paletta: 5
Looked panicked and unsure of himself against England with a couple of nearly costly errors. Didn’t see the pitch after that.
Daniele De Rossi: 6
Was excellent against England but faded into obscurity and anonymity after that, not making the impact the Azzurri needed.
Claudio Marchisio: 5
Scored a vital goal in the first game, was largely quiet in the second and despite the referee’s rash decision, was punished for a stupid tackle in the third. Downward spiral.
A sad end to a wonderful international career, the veteran sparkled at times but couldn’t carry the Azzurri over the finish line once more.
Thiago Motta: 5
Slow and sloppy and almost every facet of the game and was a living representative of Prandelli’s conservative tactics. Poor tournament.
Marco Verratti: 7
The only player who got better as the tournament progressed and was occasionally brilliant against Uruguay. Eases concerns about a post-Pirlo Azzurri.
Marco Parolo: 6
Made two appearances as a substitute, neither one providing any notable moment. Another body for Prandelli to tinker tactics with, had minimal impact.
Alberto Aquilani: No Rating
Aquilani actually got bumped up the pecking order after Riccardo Montolivo’s injury, and still didn’t see any time.
Antonio Cassano: 5
Was handed the No 10 jersey with the hope the Parma man would carry the creative torch but the playmaker was sluggish and surprisingly ineffective.
Antonio Candreva: 6
Was brilliant against England and gave an energetic but ultimately fruitless performance against Costa Rica. Blew hot and cold.
Lorenzo Insigne: 5
Came on against Costa Rica and was awful. Unsurprisingly didn’t see the pitch in the pressure-filled environment against Uruguay.
Alessio Cerci: 5
Another ‘super-sub’ who was ineffective as an impact player. Didn’t really fit in Prandelli’s system during his appearances, but didn’t announce himself either.
Ciro Immobile: 5
Was a round-peg that Prandelli attempted to fit into a square hole in the final game against Uruguay, and didn’t establish any chemistry with Balotelli.
Another player that got worse as the tournament progressed. The weight of the team rested heavily on his shoulders.
Cesare Prandelli: 5
Had a real attempt to turn games around with offensive substitutes but the attitude of the players is a reflection of their Coach, and results weren’t good enough.