As the fallout from Italy's humiliating World Cup exit starts, politicians have jumped on the bandwagon, with Roberto Calderoli, a minister who belongs to a right-wing anti-immigration party, accusing "luxury immigrant" footballers as being the cause of the crisis.
"They are paid millions, have legs made of jelly and are short of breath," ranted Calderoli. "This defeat brings the torment of our national side to an indecorous and predictable end.
"Italy's premature elimination is merely the result of an insane sports policy which has seen the league, the cup and the Champions League being won by teams who do not have a single Italian, including the coach.
"Unfortunately for [Italy coach Marcello] Lippi, luxury immigrants can't play for the national side and today's result is the logical consequence of this fact. We need to get our own home-grown lads playing in our clubs."
Piergiorgio Stiffoni, a Northern League senator, compared Lippi with France's disgraced coach Raymond Domenech, saying he had "lots of arrogance and nothing more". He added: "To come back to Italy the team does not deserve a business-class flight. If there were a trans-African train they should come back with that."
Earlier this week Umberto Bossi, Italy's federal reforms minister, was forced to apologise after suggesting Lippi's team would bribe their way into the last 16 of the World Cup.