One is never too old to lose a parent, but at 18-years-old and in the adolescent stages of his footballing career, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is especially too young.
Reports Thursday revealed that Højbjerg returned to Denmark in the wake of his Father's death of stomach cancer, not traveling with the rest of his teammates to Madrid for the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg.
The Danish midfield prodigy was overwhelmed with the support from Bayern Munich when his father revealed his somber diagnosis in December. The news that Højbjerg revealed to Pep Guardiola drew tears from the first-year manager, and former president Uli Hoeneß contacted the best doctors he could to treat his father's ailment.
Højbjerg's accomplishments already would make any father proud, recording 225 minutes with a club showered in German and European trophies in his teen years. He punched in a 90 minute shift in Braunschweig at the weekend and likely would have seen his name on the team sheet with the Bayern squad ravaged once again with injuries.
Christian Højbjerg will not get to see his son take his first big steps into manhood, but whatever is on the horizon for Højbjerg's career, his father will be looking down on him, most likely proud with the maturation of his son.
Rest in peace, Christian Højbjerg. Mia san mia.