David Beckham has been ruled out of the World Cup after tearing his Achilles tendon during AC Milan's Serie A game with Chievo on Sunday night.
Beckham sustained the injury without coming into contact with anyone else, limping to the sidelines for treatment in a match Milan went on to win 1-0.
On Sunday evening, England manager Fabio Capello and his trusted assistant Franco Baldini were on the phone to offer their best wishes for Beckham to ultimately make a full recovery, knowing they could write the 34-year-old out of their own plans for South Africa.
Milan coach Leonardo said after the game: "Beckham's injury makes us feel terrible. He is an extraordinary guy and today's game proves it yet again.
"I cannot enjoy this evening considering this serious injury. David understood immediately that he had torn his Achilles tendon."
The news will come as a devastating blow to Beckham who was hoping to become the first player to appear for England in four World Cup finals.
The 34-year-old recently joined Milan for a second loan spell from the Los Angeles Galaxy in a bid to prove his fitness to England boss Capello.