Italy full-back Domenico Criscito has confessed that manager Marcello Lippi should not be solely to blame for his country's failure to qualify through the group stages of the World Cup.
The Azzurri crashed out in embarrassing fashion as they finished bottom of Group F after succumbing to a 3-2 defeat to Slovakia in the final game.
Even New Zealand, a side 73 places below them in the world rankings, managed to finish ahead of the holders in one of their worst performances in the tournament for over 50 years.
Lippi made a statement following the game stating that he would accept all responsibility for the manner of their exit, but Criscito, who had been one of the team's brightest players until his withdrawal at half-time against the Slovakians, insisted that the team had to shoulder the criticism.
"I don't think the coach has the only responsibilities," the Cagliari defender told Sky Italia..
"We entered the pitch, we haven't been able to do what he asked us. It has been a bad game.
"We suffered from the speed of the Slovakia forwards. Results didn't come, and this is what counts in football.
"Mr Lippi was sorry in the dressing room because he believes in this group. We apologised, even if on the pitch we did our best."