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“It was impossible to even think about it, but the lads were extraordinary,” said Mancini.
“I have no words for them, this is a wonderful group. It was not an easy game and this one developed to become very difficult, but then we dominated it.
“On penalties you need to have a bit of luck and I am also a bit sorry for the English.
“This team has grown a lot, I think we can still improve.”
After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Italy have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround under Mancini and are unbeaten in 34 games.
Mancini said his tears after the game were for the whole of Italy.
“We are happy for the Italians,” said the former Manchester City manager.
“I have no words for these guys.
"It was the emotion which happens after achieving something incredible. It was the emotion of seeing the guys celebrate and the fans in the stands.
"Seeing everything we have managed to create, all of the hard work we have put in over the last three years, but specifically the last 50 days which have been very hard.
"It is the fact we have been able to forge this team spirit over the last 50 days, they have really created something which can never be separated going forward. They will always be synonymous with this triumph.”