Vieri's World Cup heartbreak
By Nadia Carminati
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Christian Vieri has revealed the injury heartbreak that saw him miss Italy's World Cup win.
Christian Vieri has revealed the full extent of the injury heartbreak that saw him miss Italy's World Cup win this summer.
The prolific 33-year-old had forced his way back into contention for the Azzurri after moving to Ligue 1 side Monaco in January.
But a niggling knee injury ended his dream of starring in the tournament, and the loss obviously hit him hard.
"Missing out on the World Cup has been my biggest disappointment as a player," Vieri told Chi magazine.
"I have played for the national team for ten years and it was supposed to be my third world championship.
"But in April I got injured. Each day I spoke to coach Marcello Lippi. He told me not to give up and that he would wait until the last moment.
"Then in May I underwent surgery and had to say goodbye to the World Cup.
"I never saw a complete match for the national team. Even the final I only saw short pieces of.
"I was like a lion in a cage. I felt terrible. I kept tossing and turning in my bed at night and I dreamt about the cup.
"I asked myself a lot of times why this misfortune had to hit me. But it was destiny."
Vieri has come full circle in his football career, returning to Serie A new boys Atalanta for the season, but he admits to having considered a drastic alternative.
"I also thought about quitting football, but it's my life," he added.
"I wanted to play and luckily I don't need the money.
"I played at Atalanta at the age of 20 and the president has remained the same. I just want to recover and keep playing."
The former Internazionale man refused to comment on a return to the national set-up, but is expected to start the season up front for the Stadio Azzurri D'Italia outfit as they look to maintain their status in the top flight of Italian football.