The Azzurri took world champions Germany to penalties following their 1-1 Euro 2016 quarter-final draw on Saturday night, with Die Maanschaft prevailing 6-5 on penalties following three misses by the Italians from the spot, including Zaza’s effort in which he comically ran up to the ball before blasting it over the bar.
The Juventus striker, brought on a minute before the end of extra-time, says he was convinced he would score, but acknowledges that he missed the most important spot-kick of his life.
"I have always taken my penalties like that and was convinced I would score,” he told Mediaset.
"I did send Manuel Neuer the wrong way, but unfortunately the ball went too high.
"I missed the most important penalty of my career and it will be with me for the rest of my life. I'm sorry to have disappointed Italians.
"It will be difficult, but I want to get over it. I want the Italians to know that we gave everything.
"The fans realised we did all we could and I am happy with the welcome we have had – I knew they would understand. It is a shame about the penalties as we were doing something extraordinary."
Germany’s win sees them take on hosts France in the semi-final, a day after Portugal’s clash against Wales on Wednesday.