John Terry apologised for his red card moment of madness against Barcelona that will rule him out of next month's Champions League final.
The Chelsea captain was given his marching orders on 37 minutes of an epic encounter at the Camp Nou which saw the Premier League side fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and clinch a 3-2 aggregate win over the Catalans.
Terry's dismissal for a foul on Alexis Sanchez threatened to trigger a drubbing for Chelsea, who conceded a second goal to Andres Iniesta soon afterwards following Sergio Busquets' opening strike.
However the veteran defender watched from the bench as goals from Ramires and Fernando Torres sealed a remarkable comeback.
Former England captain Terry admitted however that the result was bittersweet as he will be denied the opportunity to lead Chelsea in Munich.
"Sanchez was darting in behind me. I've seen the replay and it does look bad," Terry told Sky Sports.
"I'm not that type of player to intentionally hurt anyone. I've raised my knee, which I maybe shouldn't have done in hindsight. But hopefully people who know me as a person, as a player ... I'm not that type of player.
"I'm disappointed but delighted for the lads. To come here and play the way they did and get the result they did with 10 men ... I feel I've let them down. I've apologised to them and I want to apologise to the fans as well.
"At the time, I was bewildered because I was trying to protect myself a little bit, but looking at it on the replay, I've no complaints. I've let the lads down. They've performed brilliantly, so hopefully this doesn't take it away from the players."
Terry, desperate to atone for the penalty shoot-out miss which cost Chelsea victory in the 2008 final over Manchester United, agreed it would hurt to miss the final.
"On a personal note, of course," he said. "But this is what this football club deserves. We deserve to be in the Champions League final. The boys were excellent and I hope the incident does not take away from how hard they worked."
Roberto Di Matteo, the Chelsea interim manager, said: "Barcelona are the best team in the world. They are amazing. They have some of the best players in the world as well in their team. "The way we played and defended and we just showed a lot of desire to reach the final and go through. "We had a little bit of luck as well, which you need but I think to win the trophy, you need that."
Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona coach, endured the rare task of having to defend Lionel Messi, after the club's top scorer struck the bar with a second half penalty.
"We've gotten to where we are today thanks to this kid," Guardiola said. "More than ever I want to thank him for what he's done for us. "My admiration for him knows no limits. He's daring, he's brave, he plays fantastic in different conditions."
Of failing to retain their title, Guardiola added: "We did everything we could - absolutely everything - but we got to a semi-final and lost.
"No matter what we did it wasn't enough. And this is what counts. Probably we did something wrong and we need to see what that was and try to fix it in the future," he said.
"You have to praise Chelsea for their defensive display - for their courage, for their bravery, for their mental strength in knowing that they had to play this game."
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