England captain Steven Gerrard last night admitted it was tough to take after a “heartbreaking” exit from Euro 2012 following a penalty shoot-out defeat against Italy.
England were beaten 4-2 on spot-kicks after their quarter-final clash in Kiev had finished goalless after extra-time.
Ashley Young and Ashley Cole missed for England
This was the latest in a long line of penalty shoot-out exits from major tournaments, following on from 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2006.
While Gerrard praised his teammates for their showing in Poland and Ukraine, he conceded it was a painful way to go out.
“Everyone’s been great in training, every time we’ve come out I think we’ve done the country proud, but again we’re going home with heartbreak, which is difficult to take,” he said.
The Liverpool midfielder added “I just feel for the players who from day one have given everything and today we did the same.”