Torino striker Andrea Belotti claimed he suffered an unusual injury on the eve of Italy's 3-0 defeat to Spain in Madrid, saying: "I was stung by an insect".
Belotti was one of a number of players whose performance was below par as the Azzurri were resoundingly beaten at the Santiago Bernabeu, courtesy of two goals from Isco and one for Alvaro Morata.
The 23-year-old defended coach Giampiero Ventura's decision to play an attacking 4-2-4 formation, saying it showed Italy's intention to become the first visiting team to beat Spain in a World Cup qualifier.
"Our regrets are throughout the entire game," Belotti told Rai Sport. "The way we prepared, with a very attacking line-up, was because we wanted to come here and get a result.
"Football is a team game, everyone has to contribute and work both on and off the ball. That is what the coach asks of us and every side in modern football has to defend with 11 men.
"Spain are a very attacking side, yet at times they had 11 men behind the ball. I think this match can be a real education, as we could have done better and unfortunately we didn't, but we can learn from our mistakes."
Of his injury, Belotti added: "I was stung by an insect overnight and my eye puffed up."