Steven Gerrard was swift to congratulate Italy after their shoot-out win, but said he and his players would take no solace at having taken the superior Italians to 120 minutes.
"I thought this time we would have that bit of luck, but it wasn't to be," said Gerrard.
"Italy, credit to them, they are a fantastic team," the England captain told the BBC.
"But we are going home heartbroken."
England could have few complaints after being comprehensively outplayed over the 120 minutes of normal and extra-time, Italy with 35 attempts to England's 9 while enjoying 64 percent of possession.
"The players have given eveything," he told the BBC. "I thought we might have the luck in the penalty shoot-out but it wasn't to be. The lads at the back were fantastic, we have done the country proud but we go home heartbroken and that is hard to take."