After a controversial bite and a World Cup eliminating defeat by Uruguay, the Italians suffered one final loss in Brazil when coach Cesare Prandelli announced his resignation Tuesday in a post-match news conference.
"Above and beyond, at the end of the match, I spoke to the president of the federation, and because the technical plan is under my responsibility, I have told them that I am going to resign from my position because when the technical plan and strategy fails, it is only fair for the person in question to take responsibility," Prandelli said.
For Italy, a four-time World Cup champion, elimination in the group stage for the second year in a row was an unacceptable result.
The last time the Italians advanced: 2006. Final result: a World Cup title.
Prandelli took over coaching duties of the Italian national team from Marcello Lippi after the 2010 World Cup. Under Prandelli's direction, Italy notably reached the Euro 2012 final and finished third in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
To get to the round of 16 this time around, the Italians needed only a draw with Uruguay, but they were denied when Diego Godin found the net on a header off a corner in the 81st minute.
The goal came just moments after Uruguayan star Luis Suarez appeared to bite Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. No penalties were issued, though replays seemed to confirm Suarez’s actions.
Italy’s sole victory of the tournament came against England, another team eliminated in group play.
The Italians were then upset by eventual Group D champion Costa Rica, which also collected a win against Uruguay and drew with England in their final match of the group stage.