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Deposed champs never had a chance

Updated: June 24, 2010, 3:40 PM ET
By John Brewin | ESPNSoccernet

JOHANNESBURG -- When champions are deposed, they often bare their teeth one last time before their crown is surrendered. So it proved as Italy lost its grip on the World Cup. At Ellis Park against Slovakia, a late surge of energy and determination was not nearly enough, but in briefly revealing a spirit previously lacking in their performances at this World Cup, they had pinpointed the true reason for their demise.

Departing Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi said he knew the reason, too. ...

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