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Italian media fume at Euros exit, Spalletti grasps for excuses

LEIPZIG, Germany : Italy's media lambasted the country's soccer squad over their elimination from Euro 2024 at the hands of Switzerland on Saturday, while manager Luciano Spalletti threw out a host of bizarre excuses for his side's downfall.

Switzerland had little trouble in dismissing the defending champions 2-0 in Berlin, a last-16 exit seen as embarrassing in the Italian press on Sunday.

"A Shame" read the headline in Corriere dello Sport, as they described a side incapable of football, while Gazzetta dello Sport said "everything to be redone" depicting an embarrassing performance with Italy eliminated and humiliated.

Spalletti said he bore responsibility for their demise, but while he may have some justification in saying he hasn't had enough time with the team, some of his other excuses were harder to understand.

Speaking on Italian television, Spalletti again mentioned his players' physical condition and tiredness, while the Swiss made only one change compared with his six from the previous game.

Even more confusing was his mention of the heat as a factor. When he reiterated his point about a lack of freshness, former England manager Fabio Capello had a sharp response live on air.

"Why can't we play at the pace of the others and when we have the ball we lose it immediately?" Capello queried.

"Is it a lack of speed, the ball always travels slowly, or is it a matter of technique? We lost to Switzerland, not Brazil."

Perhaps Spalletti's most bizarre excuse was his claim that Inter Milan, who supplied five members of the squad, won the Serie A title too early last season.

"Simone Inzaghi kept training the team in a certain way, because I was in touch with how often Inter were training and so on," he said. "But perhaps ...

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