Blokhin, 1975 European Footballer of the Year, conceded that his team may have been a little outclassed in their quarter final in Hamburg.

"I have to admit we were missing some of Italy's well known stars, perhaps they could have loaned as a couple - we could have done with a Ukrainian Totti or Toni!"

"The Italian team are one of the best and doesn't forgive childish mistakes and we made a few.

"We missed a chance to score but Italy were in a different class to us," Blokhin said.

The former USSR international praised his team and highlighted the fact that they made it through to the last 8 teams in their maiden World Cup Finals tournament.

"I'm disappointed at losing but completely satisfied with our performance considering it was our first World Cup," said Blokhin.

"We were among the best teams, we made it to the last eight, as a coach I have to be very happy with that. The sides which have made it to this stage are worthy of being world champions, and we almost made it.

"I've learned a lot from the coaching aspect, this has been a completely different experience to say the Champions League or the domestic championship," he added.

Blokhin is set to continue as Ukrainian coach but said that he would return home to Kiev for a well earned rest after what has been a three week rollercoaster ride which  included a 0-4 loss to Spain, a 4-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia, a controversial win against Tunisia, extra time and the penalty shoot-out against Switzerland and finally a 3-0 football lesson from the Italians.

"I dreamt of my family last night and will return to them to have a break and reflect and analyse and plan where to go from here.

"We have a bright future ahead of us as we've constructed a good young team. Some players are ending their careers, others are coming into the team."

The at times eccentric coach will be forever remembered for his opinion on overseas players playing in the local football league in Ukraine, as he was quoted earlier in the year as saying,

"The more Ukrainians that play in the national league, the more examples for the young generation. Let them learn from Shevchenko or Blokhin and not from some Zumba-Bumba whom they took off a tree, gave him two bananas and now he plays in the Ukrainian League.

"I remember when I played football, if we lost a game it was not easy to walk the Kiev streets - there were many friends out there who could beat you up for that. But is there any sense in beating up a foreigner? Okay, you beat him up - next thing he does is pack up and go."

Always one to have the last word, Blokhin ended his media commitments at Germany 2006 with a light-hearted parting shot at the press.

"I'd just like to thank everyone for what they've written about our team while in Germany, both the science fiction and the truth!"