Lippi, 62, was left disappointed yesterday after another limp performance, this time against Slovakia, which saw the defending champions lose 3-2 to bring their miserable campaign to an abrupt end.
The coach, who led Italy to World Cup glory in 2006, accepted responsibility for his side’s dismal displays.
“I would never have thought the players would have had such terror in their legs, heads and hearts,”Ã‚Â said Lippi.
“If a team arrives unable to express themselves as they needed to, then it means the coach has not prepared the squad properly on any level: technical, tactical and psychological.”
The Italian also offered his apologies Italy’s supporters.
“I am sorry for Italian football fans, and for the federation,” he added.
“I felt this team could do well, and I did not prepare them properly.”
The former Juventus manager admitted he had not expected the Azzurri to retain the World Cup, but insists he did not foresee the manner of their exit.
“I didn’t think I’d win the World Cup a second time, but having to end my time with the national squad like this is awful,” he continued.
“I thank all of you for these four years, some have been fantastic, some very disappointing. I take full responsibility; it was me who built the group.”
“I was convinced and I wanted to go through this experience again after winning the World Cup in 2006. I am very sorry.”
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