It is not just Serie A pride which is wounded after this week's elimination from Europe at the hands of Premier League clubs, it seems their players are literally hurting.
Roma could be without 10 players at Sampdoria tomorrow including five who incurred or aggravated injuries against Arsenal in midweek: Juan, the goalscorer, Francesco Totti (right), Rodrigo Taddei, Marco Motta and David Pizarro. Cicinho, Simone Perrotta and Marco Cassetti have long-term injuries while Philippe Mexes and Daniele de Rossi are suspended.
Internazionale, knocked out by Manchester United in midweek, will be without defenders Marco Materazzi, Cristian Chivu and Nicolas Burdisso when they resume their defence of the domestic title at home to Fiorentina tomorrow evening.
Juventus, seven points behind Inter in second place, also have a lengthy injury list ahead of tonight's match at home to Bologna. Added to the throng in the sick bay following their midweek exit from Europe are Pavel Nedved, Amauri and David Trezeguet.
As well as a muscular injury the latter is also nursing a bruised ego after criticising Claudio Ranieri's decision to substitute him against Chelsea.
"He has disappointed me as a man," Ranieri responded. "He should not complain in the newspapers. We have not talked, clearly he doesn't have consideration for me. I make mistakes but I had reasons for the substitution."
Another injured player is Kaka, who is struggling to be fit for Milan's match at Siena tomorrow, but David Beckham is expected to recover from an ankle injury to feature.
Roberto Donadoni, the former Italian national coach, makes his bow with Napoli at bottom side Reggina.
Real Madrid, another club to suffer at the feet of Premier League opponents, seek to put the experience behind them against Athletic Bilbao tonight. "The team is down after what happened at Anfield," said goalkeeper Iker Casillas. "When you are hoping each year to win the European Cup and then you don't make it past the last 16 it's a bit worrying." This is the fifth successive season Real have gone out at this stage. Guti and Fabio Cannavaro are injured.
The Spanish teams who did progress are in confident mood. Daniel Alves said of Barcelona's six-point lead over Real: "We are the ones who have the advantage. The team is almost perfect." Barça are at home to Almeria tomorrow night.
Villarreal's Santi Cazorla said their qualification for the last eight of the Champions League had revived their belief. "You can see the joy which the team has with the ball," said the Spanish international, "something we had lost and we now have back again." There is less joy at tomorrow's opponents Atletico Madrid where Sergio Aguero criticised new coach Abel Resino for omitting Diego Forlan from the goalless draw at Porto which ended Atletico's season in Europe.Reuse content