England captain Steven Gerrard spoke of his team's "heartbreak" after their penalty shoot-out loss to Italy ended their UEFA EURO 2012 campaign in the quarter-finals, while forward Wayne Rooney insisted that their well-organised display should be read as "good for the future".
Steven Gerrard, England midfielder
I just feel for the players who, from day one since we met up have given absolutely everything, and today we've done the same. I thought this time in a penalty shoot-out we might have had that bit of luck we need, and it wasn't to be.
In a penalty shoot-out, when you get your nose in front you're praying that you see it out and it's your turn. But credit to Italy, they're a fantastic team, and they got the bit of luck in the shoot-out.
The lads at the back were fantastic tonight and everyone's been great in training.
Every time we've come out we've done the country proud, but again we go home in heartbreak, which is difficult to take.
Wayne Rooney, England forward
It's obvious that we're all completely gutted about it, but it happens and we have to hold our heads up high. Nobody expected much of us this tournament and we've showed we're a good team. We're well organised and it's good for the future. There's a lot of young players and this experience will obviously help them – we're all excited about [the future].
It's a hard way to go out, and it's happened too many times now – hopefully it's time we won one.
They had more possession and chances but they didn't have too many clear chances – maybe [Mario] Balotelli in the first half – but we defended well and hoped that we'd get that chance. Unfortunately, it went to penalties and anything can happen from there.
Glen Johnson, England defender
It's never nice when you get knocked out of a major tournament. But once you get to penalties, unfortunately anything can happen. Again, we showed how well we can defend as a team, and how difficult it's going to be for the other team to score against us.
We thought it was a positive tournament, things look positive for the future. Obviously it was disappointing to go out at this stage of the competition, but that's football. And when you get to penalties, anything can happen. But it's looking positive for the future.
We have shown teams how well we can defend as a whole, as a unit. If we keep defending like that and don't concede many goals, I'm sure that we're going to win more games than we lose.
[Italy] are a fantastic side; they were always going to be one of the favourites for the tournament. They've got some fantastic players. But we matched them well today and were just unlucky on the penalties.
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