Just like that, it was over.
After three games, for the second consecutive World Cup, Italy are out at the group stage following a performance almost as bad as that of four years earlier.
Cesare Prandelli has been in charge of the team since the embarrassment of South Africa saw a sad end to Marcello Lippi’s second reign. His hard work and the effort of building toward this summer’s tournament was expected to deliver more for the Euro 2012 finalists, but they head home following a dire showing.
Over the following pages are five things the competition highlighted, some positive aspects shown by analysing Italy’s performances more deeply than simply noting the negative results.