ANNA BENTLEY says Great Britain's women's foil fencing team never stood a chance against a team she dubbed her sport's Barcelona.
For Messi, Iniesta and Xavi read Iatly's Valentina Vezzali, Elisa Di Francisca and Ariana Errigo and they duly put their rivals ruthlessly to the sword in a one-sided quarter-final.
Bentley and team-mates Natalia Sheppard and Sophie Troiano were never in the contest, going down 42-14.
But Bentley was happy to have secured their top eight finish, courtesy of a battling first round win over Egypt.
However, further defeats to Poland and Japan in classification matches meant eighth was as good as it got.
"It's a personal best to get to the top eight, it was our first goal coming here and we're really happy about that," she said.
"We wanted to make the quarter-finals and considered anything else a bonus but you don't have much chance against a team like Italy.
"We don't really match up with them, it's like trying to beat Barcelona. They are the best fencing nation in the world and world No.1 for a reason.
"There is not one weak link in their team, we got some good points and we can have no complaints.
"It's a big learning curve for us. Vezzali is an example to us all, she's just ridiculous and she doesn't make mistakes.
"They came out confident and arrogant and maybe we need to learn a bit from them about how we approach it."
* Scottish lightweight Josh Taylor became the first GB boxer to bow out of the competition, beaten by Italy's world No.1 Domenico Valentino.