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Italian coach Spalletti takes responsibility for early exit from Euro 2024

- von Alexander Ratz

Berlin : Italian coach Luciano Spalletti said he took full responsibility for his team's exit from the European Championship in the first knock out round after an insipid 2-0 loss against Switzerland.

However, the 65-year-old former Napoli boss also complained he had not had enough matches in which to blend his team ahead of the defeat, which marked Italy's first elimination before the quarter-final stage of the Euros in 20 years.

"I have the responsibility," Spalletti said at the post-match press conference.

"We failed because of my team selection, it is never down to the players."

Spalletti said, however, that he did not have enough time to get to know the team better.

All other coaches had 30 or even more games with their teams before the tournament started, he said, adding: "I only had 10."

Spalletti was appointed Italy's national team manager in August 2023, following the resignation of Roberto Mancini.

He made six changes to his starting line-up against the Swiss, but instead of instilling energy and creativity into the team, they looked disjointed and without invention, and barely managed a shot on goal.

Italy had to play without one of their most impressive players in Germany, the suspended defender Riccardo Calafiori.

Spalletti said his players lacked the physicality to stand up to the Swiss team.

Italy came in second in group B behind Spain, after a last gasp equaliser against Croatia to snatch a 1-1 draw which kept the defending champions in Germany, and into Saturday's round of 16 first game in Berlin.