The heartbreaking sight of Gianluigi Buffon in tears this week was tough to witness.
The goalkeeping great was thoroughly distraught as his international career came to a close after Italy were beaten in their World Cup play-off by Sweden.
The Swedes clung onto a battling 0-0 draw in Milan after a 1-0 first leg victory, meaning the Italians won’t take part at Russia next summer.
And it appears the defeat has really left its mark on Buffon.
The 40-year-old was duly left out of the Juventus side to play Sampdoria on Sunday because he’s still emotionally recovering from the failure.
Juve manager Max Allegri said: “They’re getting over the disappointment but after 15 days with the national team they spent a notable amount of physical and – above all – mental energy.
“It would have been Buffon’s sixth World Cup and it was a big disappointment. But I found him in form. He had a good reaction.”
And he was sorely missed.
In Buffon’s absence, Juve were beaten 3-2 with both of their goals coming in injury time after a torrid display during the normal 90 minutes.
As a result the Italian champions fell four points behind Napoli in a fiercely competitive Serie A title race.
They’ll be hoping Buffon is in the right frame of mind for the small matter of a Champions League tie with Barcelona on Wednesday night…