2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

9 June - 9 July

2006 FIFA World Cup™

ITALY-AUSTRALIA: Players' Quotes

Gianluigi BUFFON (ITA), Budweiser Man of the Match

I thought I played well even though I had less to do than in the previous match against the Czech Republic. I did well on the few occasions I was needed. I never thought the Australians would score, but in the second half I didn't think we would either. We're a bit tired mentally, especially me as a goalkeeper with not very much to do. The events of Korea/Japan 2002 flashed before my eyes. I didn't have the courage to watch (Francesco) Totti's penalty, not because I didn't have faith in him, but because I was so nervous. I didn't think he'd try a chip shot because he's too clever to do something like that at such a moment. We think we can go all the way to the Final in Berlin, that's our dream.

Francesco TOTTI (ITA)

Today we showed that our fitness levels are good and we have the right mentality to go a long way. To get results you have to use your head and we did today. I had no intention of trying a chip shot with the penalty, I was just concentrating on scoring. (Marcello) Lippi came to see me at two this afternoon and explained why he was leaving me out. I have no problem with him. He showed faith in me and picked me for the squad. I respect his decisions. I'm fit and ready for the next matches.


There's great desire to do well. Suspensions and injuries aren't a problem because the squad's big and we'll do anything to stay in the tournament.


We played very well in the first half and had four or five chances. We started well in the second half but then had the sending-off. Australia had most of the possession but we never stopped believing.


I came on and the team were immediately in difficulty due to (Marco) Materazzi's red card. That made everything more difficult and the balance of the game was upset. In any event we defended very well. I was hoping we would win inside 90 minutes and we never stopped believing. Totti was very calm for the penalty, I knew he'd score. We're a great team in that 20 of the 23 squad members have appeared. Team spirit is the key to everything, and we're a good team aiming for Berlin.

I saw great team spirit this afternoon and a lot of happy faces at the end. As Francesco Totti took the penalty I thought of all of us, because you don't now what to expect from him. I was very excited when the coach told me I was going on, but I had to contain myself as it's part of the game. A last-minute win is a fantastic feeling.


They didn't have a single shot on goal and the feeling was that they'd never score. It's very satisfying to be one of the best eight teams in the world after everything that's happened in our country. I'd rather meet Ukraine than Switzerland (in the next round) because the Swiss are better.

  **Fabio GROSSO (ITA)**   

We can look forward now. I'm very happy to be part of this squad. I was desperate for us to score in normal time because we were down to ten men. I don't know what would've happened if it had gone to extra time.

**Marco MATERAZZI (ITA)**   

I'm very disappointed I can't play in the next game. When I looked into the referee's eyes I knew it was useless to protest. I didn't want to inflame the situation any further so I just walked towards the tunnel. I don't think the referee had it in for us though.

Still, I'm delighted with the result and Francesco Totti's goal. I could only hope my team-mates would come through - and they did. (Andrea) Barzagli had a great game, hats off to him. We played well as a unit in the first half, but it was obvious we'd suffer with only ten men. Luckily Francesco (Totti) kept his nerve, and I have to say he played very well when he came on. Our team has tremendous will - we go onto the pitch convinced we'll win. We need to keep our team spirit if we're to claim the ultimate prize.


I'm very disappointed because I felt we dominated the game. Losing is an absolute nightmare. The Italians were very solid in defence and played to their strengths. That said, I could see that they were very tired by the end of the game, especially because they had to play with a man less. If it had gone into extra time we would have won, because our greatest asset is our fitness.


We are very disappointed, because we gave everything and we really threw everything into attack. The end was a complete shock, it was like a knockout blow. The World Cup has been the greatest festival of football ever, and we've enjoyed every minute of it.


This has really hit us hard. We had a few good chances to put ourselves into the quarter-finals. Unfortunately we didn't have the luck we needed. But overall we can be more than pleased with our performance. We are proud of the way we played and of our fantastic fans.


It was a bitter defeat. But thanks to our terrific displays the world has taken notice of Australian football. We could have won, and after the game the Italians congratulated us on our great performance. It was an unforgettable experience, the way the whole country got behind us at the World Cup.


It is hard to have to go out of the tournament in this way. After the goal we had no chance to try and come back again. It was only in the dressing room afterwards that what happened really sank in. We have to put this defeat behind us quickly and be proud of what we have achieved here. The whole of Australia is proud of us. We have shown that we can play better than the Italians and that we can hold our own with Brazil.


We played for our lives. What happened in the last minute was crazy. I feel completely shattered. Everyone was able to see how well we can play.


It's hard to lose such a gripping game through a penalty. Despite the defeat I love this game and am thrilled to be a professional footballer. We had a great chance to reach the quarter-finals but we didn't take it. Guus Hiddink is a fantastic manager. Australia needs to have a European coach in the future too, so that we can hold our own with top European teams. In future the world will not underestimate Australian football.

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