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Italy returns home

Italy's World Cup players have returned home after their early exit in South Africa, amid indifference from fans and a few insults.

sports Updated: Jun 26, 2010 21:45 IST

Italy's World Cup players have returned home after their early exit in South Africa, amid indifference from fans and a few insults.

Players who landed at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport on Saturday morning were largely ignored. A small group of fans shouted "Shame on You!" as the footballers and coach Marcello Lippi walked in the terminal.

Other players traveled on to Milan's Malpensa, where virtually no fans awaited them.

After disappointing draws with Paraguay and New Zealand, the Azzurri were kicked out of the tournament with a shocking defeat to Slovakia, finishing last in their group.

Not since 1974 had Italy failed to qualify to the second round.