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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Italians Knighted

ROME -- Italian media cursed their side's bad luck after the 2-1 defeat by France in the Euro 2000 final, but the players awoke Monday to find they had been made Knights of the Republic.

Newspapers, struggling to put a brave face on things, also blamed bad refereeing and praised the performance of the underdog side no one expected to do so well.

The appreciation was echoed by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who watched the match and went into the changing room afterward to offer condolences to the squad. He later made all the players Knights of the Republic.

Reflecting the Italian loss to a golden goal by David Trezeguet, Corriere dello Sport devoted half of its front page to a headline, in giant black letters, reading "What bad luck."

"We deserved the title," it added underneath.