Essentially declaring that the buck stops with him, Cesare Prandelli has resigned as manager of the Italian men's national team with immediate effect, making the announcement less than an hour after his Italy squad lost to Uruguay and thus failed to advance out of the group stage of the 2014 World Cup.
Italy seemed ill-prepared and not set up well enough to deal with their opposition in their last two matches of the group stage, undoing all the good work of their scraped-by win against England in their first match of the tournament. In the end, it was a continuation of a worrying trend Italy had displayed in the months leading up to the World Cup of too often looking like they just weren't ready for what they were facing.
Prandelli spoke to the media and almost seemed to echo those thoughts, saying that he "talked to the President of the Federation and Demetrio Albertini, and gave my resignation. The technical set-up didn't work, and I take all responsibility for that.
"Something has changed since my contract was renewed. I don't know why. I chose a certain technical plan and that's why I am resigning, because it did not work. My resignation is irrevocable."
Prandelli took over the Italy setup after their last World Cup failure in 2010, looking to change what it meant to be part of the Italian national team and got his side playing more attractive football than they were typically known for. He rode that success to a big win against England in the 2012 European Championship, and eventually managed a runner-up finish to Spain in the tournament after a hard-fought final.
After that, though, something changed, and not for the better. The style and flair that had risen Italy to the best football they'd played since winning the World Cup in 2006 started to slowly get replaced by a more constrained, controlling style that started to creep more and more towards the same catenaccio that Prandelli had once sought to bury.
Italy did well in qualifying, but a serious of odd tactical and personnel decisions started raising questions as the World Cup itself approached. Not helping matters any were a series of public tiffs with players, perhaps most notably Prandelli's long-running media battle with Domenico Criscito. In the end, the bad outweighed the good, and now Italy are left with more questions than answers, and need a new manager as well.
While it's hard to place any blame on him, FIGC president Giancarlo Abete has also resigned following Italy's crash, though he claimed that his decision had been made before the World Cup.