Britain's newspapers lamented England's defeat on penalties to Italy in their quarter-final -- but they agreed that the better side had won.
"A beginning, a muddle and an end: an ordinary team bows out," said the Times' Simon Barnes.
The Daily Telegraph argued that for all their endeavour, England's players would be acutely aware of how far they remain behind the world's elite.
"Italy, and Andrea Pirlo in particular, were vastly superior," said the broadsheet.
"This is not simply the extension of a curse. This was a problem with a footballing culture."
And The Guardian wrote: "There will be many regrets at what might have been after the resilient, disciplined and very occasionally exuberant victories against Sweden and Ukraine."