Sweden captain Olof Mellberg says Italy only have themselves to blame after being eliminated from Euro 2004.
Sweden’s 2-2 draw with Denmark meant Italy’s win over Bulgaria was irrelevant.
The Italians finished level on points with Denmark and Sweden but were eliminated because they scored the fewest goals in the games between the three sides.
“You always have it in your own hands from the start in these tournaments – and Italy haven’t done well enough to go through,” Mellberg told BBC Sport.
“The difference between success and failure is small and unfortunately for Italy this time they did not make it.
“There have been some tough games in a tough group.
“Normally a strong team like Bulgaria does well and the fact they got no points shows how hard it has been.”
“Maybe Denmark would have wanted to push forward because the score would have left them second in the group,” he said.
“But we did not want to take any risks.”