Former Lazio, Torino, Sampdoria and Ipswich goalkeeper Matteo Sereni protested his innocence after a child abuse conviction.
The ex-player, now 40 years old, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison with the loss of paternal rights.
He was accused by his ex-wife of abusing their daughter in 2009.
“I am distraught,” Sereni told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I have lost all faith in justice. The only thing that keeps me alive is realising my children know the truth.”
The accusations emerged during a bitter divorce and custody battle.
“We will certainly appeal this very surprising sentence,” explained his lawyers.
“Even the little girl, whose testimony was recorded many times by her mother, later admitted the accusations against her father were not true.”
In Italy no conviction is considered final until the third round of the courts, so Sereni has two more levels of appeal to go through.