Inconsolable following the final whistle in Kyiv after being at fault on two goals in Liverpool's 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in Saturday's Champions League final, goalkeeper Loris Karius was the tragic hero of a heartbreaking night.
His actions post match speak to the young German's character. Few professional footballers have ever gone on to provide such an honest and open appraisal of not just their individual performance, but their emotional state of mind.
"I'd just like to turn back time"
Karius faced the press after the game to own up to his catastrophic mistakes, but also took to social media following what is likely to be the most haunting night of his career to tell fans he was "infinitely sorry" for the part he played.
"Haven't really slept until now, the scenes are still running through my head again and again. I'm infinitely sorry to my teammates, for you fans and for all the staff. I know that I messed it up with the two mistakes and let you all down," Karius wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
"As I said I'd just like to turn back the time but that's not possible. It's even worse as we all felt that we could have beaten Real Madrid and we were in the game for a long time.
"Thank you to our unbelievable fans who came to Kiev and held my back, even after the game. I don't take that for granted and once again it showed me what a big family we are. Thank you and we will come back stronger."
Support from all corners
The 24-year-old gifted Karius Real striker Karim Benzema the opener in before allowing Gareth Bale's speculative shot to slip through his grasp as Real won 3-1.
Head coach Jürgen Klopp and Karius' teammates refused to blame the goalkeeper though, as Liverpool sent a clear message of "we win as a team and lose as a team," in support of their devastated shot stopper.
"The second mistake is because of the first," Klopp said after the match. "It's really difficult to get rid of the bad thoughts in your mind. Loris knows it, everybody knows it. That is a shame in a game like this, in a season like this. I feel for him. He is a fantastic boy."
Death threats prompt police probe
While most have rallied behind the 24-year-old, some fans were less forgiving, with Merseyside Police monitoring death threats made against Karius and his family.
"We take social media posts of this nature extremely seriously. Offences will be investigated," British media quoted Merseyside Police as saying on Sunday. "Officers are aware of a number of comments and threats made via social media."
"Merseyside Police would like to remind social media users than any offences including malicious communications and threatening behavior will be investigated."
jt/pfd (AFP, dpa, SID)