Domenech's pride in players

Bad luck curses French

French coach Raymond Domenech spoke of his pride and regret after his side crashed out of Euro 2008 against Italy on Tuesday.

Record cap Lillian Thuram was not in the starting line-up and best player Franck Ribery had to be stretchered off within 10 minutes after a challenge on Gianluca Zambrotta.

Thuram's replacement, Eric Abidal was then sent off for a challenge on Luca Toni, with Andrea Pirlo scoring the resulting penalty on 25 minutes.

Daniele De Rossi then added a second in the 62nd minute when his effort took a massive deflection off France striker Thierry Henry.

Holland beat Romania 2-0 in the other Group C game to ensure the Italians progressed in the quarter-finals, where they meet Spain on Sunday.


Domenech, whose future must be in doubt despite having a contract until 2010, said: "I am proud of my players. They fought until the very end despite the incidents, the penalty, the deflected free kick. They showed energy. That team have a future.

"I have a lot of regrets. That team had guts, showed courage, unselfishness and talent.

"But the circumstances made it tough. Playing with 10 men for an hour, Franck being injured after 10 minutes, just one substitution possible after half an hour, that's tough."