Many believed that the Liverpool player’s groin injury had flared up causing him to enter the Fritz-Walter stadium in Kaiserslautern on crutches, however the cause was gout that can occur when there is a high content of uric acid in the blood which accumulates as crystal in the joints causing acute pain.

"Harry is a shot duck. He has never been in so much pain all his life," said Kewell's manager Bernie Mandic.

"He's had the game of his life for the Socceroos, and then been shot down by this. It's unbelievable."

The absences of the in-form midfielder and wingback Brett Emerton were telling to Australia’s chances against the Italians, as even when up against 10 men they never really threatened to score.

Post mortems of the match intimate that coach Guus Hiddink could maybe have pushed for the win with the opposition a man down, and been more aggressive with his tactics by bringing on striker John Aloisi earlier as well as towering target man Josh Kennedy.

However, that is all history now and Australia’s tournament is over along with Kewell’s, who will now be focusing on getting back into fitness for his club side Liverpool and the new English Premier League season.