Striker David Trezeguet, who ended his France career on Wednesday, hit the heights and plumbed the depths of international football.
Trezeguet, 30, scored the golden goal that gave France victory over Italy in the final of Euro 2000. But his miss in the World Cup final penalty shootout two years ago helped the Italians avenge that defeat.
The scorer of 34 goals in 71 internationals, third on his country's all-time list behind Thierry Henry and Michel Platini, Trezeguet's international career was all-but ended when he was left out of France's Euro 2008 squad by coach Raymond Domenech.
Trezeguet had an uneasy relationship with Domenech, who was told last week he could stay in the job, despite a group stage exit and a dismal performance at Euro 2008.
Without Trezeguet, France finished bottom of Group C with just one goal and one point from three matches.
"The awful Euro and the confirmation of the coach led me to this irreversible decision", he told reporters at Juve's pre-season training retreat on Wednesday.
Trezeguet, part of France's 1998 World Cup winning squad, had become a peripheral player since Domenech took charge in 2004.
His miss in the 2006 World Cup final penalty shootout and his inability to play alongside first choice Henry, along with the emergence of Olympique Lyon striker Karim Benzema, pushed him further down the pecking order.
Domenech had called on Trezeguet only five times since the World Cup final, despite his excellent club form for Juventus.
Trezeguet had considered quitting the national team last year. "The way Domenech has treated me is unacceptable. I'm seriously thinking of saying 'that's it' to the national team," he said last October.
"I am not part of this group, that seems clear, but I'm fine as things are. I have won everything there is to win with the national team so I'm relaxed."
However, he was given an unexpected chance to shine again and force his way back into the team when he won a late call-up to play in a friendly against England in March, his first inclusion in the squad since September 2007.
Despite a lacklustre performance, he was given a standing ovation by the home crowd.
"I was very proud of the ovation when I was replaced," he said after the match. "It was touching. The fans and myself have had a long relationship, they know that I will always give it all when I play with the France shirt."
But Domenech's confirmation as the man to help France qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals was too much to handle for Trezeguet.
"At the moment, more political decisions are being taken than football ones and they don't respect public opinion, which favours me," he said on Wednesday.