It was not the result Jordan Henderson would have had in mind before jetting off on his summer holiday, with heartbreak the word after defeat in the Euro 2020 final.
England were playing in only their second-ever major final, 55 years on from the first that came in the 1966 World Cup, but there would be lifting the trophy aloft this time.
The Liverpool skipper started on the bench for the seventh game in succession as Gareth Southgate continued with Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice in midfield.
Luke Shaw would open the scoring for a dream start but protecting the lead would cost England as Italy made their pressure count through Leonardo Bonucci, forcing extra-time and ultimately a penalty shootout.
Henderson had entered the fray in the 74th minute, seven minutes after Italy had levelled the scores to inject fresh legs as the match entered its most crucial of stages.
The 31-year-old did open up the pitch and supply Raheem Sterling with chances to get in behind Italy’s defence but there would be no breakthrough, and with penalties written on the wall, Henderson was substituted off just moments before the end of extra-time.
It was another 46 minutes added to his tournament tally, taking his total to 151 minutes, which included his maiden goal, on what was his return from a groin injury.
It meant he was one of millions who could only stand and watch the shootout unfold, one Italy would win 3-2 to be crowned Euro 2020 champions.
While unable to end the drought, Henderson’s appearance in the match saw him become only the second Liverpool player to represent England in a major final behind Roger Hunt.
It’ll be a bitter-tasting pill for Henderson to start his summer break with, one that is expected to be at least three weeks which would lead to a return on the week commencing August 2.
Liverpool’s season kicks off on August 14 at Norwich, but the Reds will be buoyed by the fact that a foundation of fitness has been laid following on from his injury and before his pre-season return.