Simone Zaza, who missed a penalty during the shootout spoke to Tuttosport at Malpensa International.
While the rest of the team was greeted with a roaring applause and chants, Simone Zaza was heckled heavily by the awaiting Italian fans.
His name slandered, jeered and cursed, tears filled the eyes of the Italy striker who was brought on at the last minute to take a penalty that could have sent Italy though to the semi-finals.
“It’s not right for us, but above all for Italy, that a single episode cancels all that we’ve given. I couldn’t do anything else, I’m sorry because we were doing an extraordinary thing”
“In the end we’re Italians, I expected [the unpleasant welcoming]. Will this make me stronger? Certainly, but for now it’s extremely difficult, I’ll look to pay them back someday,” Zaza said failing to hold the tears back in his eyes.
“I messed up the most important penalty of my career and I’ll carry that with me for the rest of my life. I’m so sorry to have disappointed the Italians”
“I want the [Italy fans] to know what we did in France, we really gave our all and it’s not right that this one episode ended what we had done, with all our hearts.”
The defeat against Germany was the last game for Antonio Conte, and Zaza commented on his legacy.
“He gave us a important blueprint in these last few years, with him we exceeded our limits.”