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Sunday, 21 June 2009

Iaquinta: I was just resting my eyes

World champions Italy have been lambasted by the press in their homeland after an embarrassing Confederations Cup exit, but, despite spending much of the tournament asleep, striker Vincenzo Iaquinta insists the criticism is unfair . 

Marcello Lippi's Azzurri were sensationally eliminated from the race for football's 19th biggest prize after being mauled 3-0 by Brazil while the USA unexpectedly decimated Egypt.

The Italians failed to impress in South Africa and were given a hostile reception on their return to Rome's Fiumicino Airport as an angry mob of pink-shirted men gathered on vespas and made angry gestures before being distracted by an attractive blonde American tourist.

Overly emotional pink newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport took the exit particularly badly, running a 400-page poem entitled 'The Breaking of My Fragile Heart (Farewell Sweet Confederations Cup)'.

Juventus marksman Iaquinta, who was ineffective in the competition, received some of the harshest criticism after controversially spending much of the Brazil game taking a nap in the opposition box.

"Some hurtful things have been said about my role, but things could have been very different," the former Udinese man explained.

"Sure I did have a bit of a lie down, I'll be the first to admit that, but I'm pretty sure I was awake during the whole thing. Besides it would have just taken one of those through balls to land on me and deflect in and I would have been a hero."

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