Marcello Lippi, Italy coach
I assume complete responsibility for this failure. I was convinced this squad could do a lot better than that – not win the World Cup, but do a lot better. When a team goes into a match as important as this with fear in the stomachs and paralysis in their legs, it’s because the coach hasn’t prepared them well enough mentally, physically and tactically, but above all mentally. That’s obvious. I offer my apologies to Italian sport, the players, the football association – everyone. I’m very sad that my adventure with the Italian football association has come to an end in this fashion. Thank you to everyone for all my years at the helm of La Nazionale and good luck to my successor.
Vladimir Weiss, Slovakia coach
This is a fantastic day for Slovakia and the second greatest day of my life after the birth of my son. We were under pressure before we took on the reigning champions, but we prepared for this match perfectly. I’m proud of my players. They put in a performance of the very highest level and played a fantastic game. I thank all the Slovakia fans who made the trip here.
Robert Vittek, Slovakia forward and Budweiser Man of the Match
This is a huge win. We’ve pushed the boundaries of Slovakian football. We never would have dared dream of this. I’m overjoyed. We proved that we’re capable of great things. My individual performance doesn’t matter; only the performance of the team counts. But, of course, to be chosen as Man of the Match means a lot to me. I’d just like to be able to break up this trophy and give a little piece to every one of my team-mates. I was simply there in the right place at the right time to score those two goals.
Erik Jendrisek, Slovakia forward
We showed today that we also know how to play attacking football. Italy were undoubtedly surprised by how we performed and what we were able to do. The difference between this match and our last two games was that as well as trying to play football, this time we did it with heart.
Domenico Criscito, Italy defender
We share the blame among ourselves; we were never able to do what the coach asked of us. Today he wanted us to press them and, instead of doing that, we sat back and waited for them. Lippi was very disappointed because he really believed in this squad. So did we; we had plenty of belief. It’s normal to ask forgiveness because we weren’t able to beat teams weaker than ourselves. We gave everything, though.
Gianlugi Buffon, Italy goalkeeper
If in three matches – including games against New Zealand and Slovakia – you aren’t capable of winning a single one, then you need to go home and ask yourself what didn’t work. I thought we looked good physically but I think that, above all, we lacked ideas in our play. We never proved ourselves up to the same standard as our opponents.