Rooney laments 'horrible' exit
Wayne Rooney admitted "it was a horrible way to go out" after England suffered yet more penalty heartache.
For the sixth time, England bowed out on penalties, losing 4-2 to Italy after their Euro 2012 quarter-final had finished goalless.
This time, they even managed to get their noses in front before Ashley Young and Ashley Cole failed with successive kicks to leave Alessandro Diamanti to belt home the winner.
"It was a horrible way to go out," said Rooney.
"We are all gutted.
"It was a tough game and we all worked hard, so to lose on penalties is a horrible feeling for everyone."
But he added: "We can hold our heads up high. There are a lot of young players in the squad and that will help them in next tournament."
Winger Theo Walcott could only express his sorrow after seeing his team-mates finish the evening in such sad circumstances.
"It's a very cruel way to go out in any competition but someone was going to go out and luck did not go our way," he said.
"The two Ashleys are strong enough lads to come back from this and the lads will be with them.
"They are two of the most experienced players in that dressing room and they will bounce back from this even better players.
"I do not worry about that at all.
"We have got to look forward to the future. It is going to be bright, I am sure of that.
"The World Cup qualifiers are going to be tough. We have to learn some lessons from tonight as that is important for the young players - me being one of them."
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