David Beckham's World Cup dream appears to have been ended by a torn Achilles tendon.
Beckham, 34, picked up the potentially career-threatening injury during AC Milan's 1-0 win over Chievo on Sunday evening.
The former international captain was bidding to become the first England player to feature in four successive World Cup finals.
There are now doubts as to whether he will be able to add to his record haul of 115 international caps for an outfielder.
"Beckham's injury makes us feel terrible. He understood immediately that he had torn his Achilles tendon," explained Milan coach Leonardo.
"He is an extraordinary guy and today's game proves it yet again. I cannot enjoy this evening considering this serious injury."
Beckham will travel to Finland on Monday for career-saving surgery.
However, specialists have warned the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder that he has no chance of being fit for the World Cup in South Africa.
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani suggested Beckham would be out for "probably five or six months".
England coach Fabio Capello is believed to have contacted Beckham on Sunday evening.