Nesta's suffering at final heartbreak

July 7, 2006

DUISBURG, Germany, July 7 (Reuters) - Italy's injured defender Alessandro Nesta is suffering from the disappointment of missing Sunday's World Cup final against France, team mate Gennaro Gattuso said.

"He's sad, you can see that and with his personality, given that he is a bit closed within himself, he's suffering a lot," Gattuso told reporters on Friday.

"He is the sort of lad who gives his all to the group. He's happy for us but he is obviously very disappointed," added the Italy midfielder.

Nesta has not played since the last group game against Czech Republic when he picked up a groin injury which forced him to sit out the second round match against Australia, the quarter-final with Ukraine and Tuesday's semi-final win over Germany.

Milan defender Nesta has suffered injury setbacks in all three of the World Cups in which he has played -- he missed Italy's second round defeat to South Korea four years ago and was also injured for the quarter-final exit to France in 1998.

"It is another strange World Cup for him, every time he gets injuries," said Marco Materazzi, who started against Germany and is again expected to partner captain Fabio Cannavaro in the centre of defence.

"He is a fantastic lad. When I was sent off against Australia he left the bench and came to console me in the dressing room which was a lovely gesture. He's a model professional and a great player," said Materazzi.