|ESPNsoccernet: World Cup 2010|
Slovakia captain Marek Hamsik admits he feels sorry for Italy after his side dumped the reigning champions out of the World Cup on Thurday.
• Slovakia to move on from media storm
• Italy squad returns to frosty reception
Hamsik was one of Slovakia's key players in the 3-2 victory over the Azzurri, but is still shocked that the nation where he plays his club football crashed out at the group stage.
"Few people expected the Italians to be bottom and exit so early," Hamsik told www.cas.sk. "It is sad that they lost.
"Messages that have come to me from Italy, though, is that they will now root for Slovakia. This is a big failure for them, but it's football. But we are very happy now.''
The Slovaks will now play Netherlands in the second round in Durban on Monday, and Hamsik is acutely aware of the threat posed by Bert van Marwijk's side.
"They have enormous strength in attack," Hamsik said. "This is a very good team, which can hold the ball well and capitalise on any mistakes of their opponent.
"They attack beautifully and we will have to be very well prepared, so we will have to see on the pitch.