With one classy and outrageous penalty kick, Andrea Pirlo confirmed what we’ve known all along: England just aren’t good enough.
Perhaps we knew, but just didn’t want to admit it.
The players certainly didn’t want to: All the pre-quarterfinal talk was about how good the team felt playing together, how they would continue their fine defence-first run, how they were dreaming of reaching the final on the back of such momentum.
But after 120 minutes of being battered by Italy, England couldn’t have anything else to say but that Italy were deserving winners of Sunday’s Euro 2012 quarterfinal.
Not so long ago, England confounded all expectations by finishing as comfortable winners of Group D, but perhaps the reason they’ve always exited at the quarterfinal stage is that they’re good, but not that good.
Here are 10 lessons learned from England’s Euro 2012 campaign—and, as usual, feel free to have your say in the comments below.