Worst Soccer Injuries Ever
Unfortunately, injury in the world of football is something that neither could be controlled nor avoided. It just happens, especially if the game is heated up. However, some injuries in football world are so severe they could be categorized as the worst football injuries of all time.
People might not agree with what we say here - everyone thinks differently, however, the cases we introduce here are among the worst football injuries, if not actually the worst football injuries ever.
Worst Soccer Injuries and the players who suffered them
Let’s see what the worst football injuries ever have been. Do they deserve to be the worst football injuries of all time? You tell us!
Eduardo Da Silva
During a match in February 2008, while playing for Arsenal, Eduardo Da Silva received an appalling tackle from Birmingham City defender, Martin Taylor.
As a result, Da Silva got a broken left fibula and dislocated his left ankle. His recovery took almost a year before he could return to the Arsenal first team again.
During a match at Old Trafford in April 1996, the Coventry defender, David Busst, collided with Manchester United defender Denis Irwin so badly that the bone of his leg pierced the skin and blood turned the ground around him red.
He had fractured both his tibia and fibula and could never play professionally again. Maybe an injury that denies you professional football could be the worst soccer injury ever happened? What do you think?
In a Carling Cup tie against Bristol Rovers in August 2007, Keiron Dyer of West Ham United, suffered a double leg fracture. As the result of a challenge from the Rovers left winger Joe Jacobson, Dyer was stretchered off with his right leg broken in two places below the knee, and was taken to hospital immediately.
The West Ham manager at the time, Alan Curbishley, suggested Jacobson's challenge was reckless. "I think the Bristol Rovers player has got to be very disappointed with his tackle," said Curbishley. "As far as I can see he has lashed out after losing the ball and caught Kieron in a difficult area. We are so devastated for [losing Dyer]. I can't put it into words, really. The game was immaterial after that."
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On February 19th, 2006, while playing against Empoli, captain Francesco Totti suffered a serious leg injury. Totti twisted his left ankle following a rough tackle by an opponent in the 12th minute and was carried from the field on a stretcher.
Initial reports from club officials suggested he would be sidelined for about two months with a fractured fibula and strained ankle ligaments. Totti was operated the same night by a renowned Italian orthopedic surgeon.
Danish striker, Jacob Olesen of Viborg suffered a severe dislocation of the left ankle in an October 2006 match that kept him out for 6 months.
The above photo shows the moment he realizes his left foot is pointing west. Ouch!
On 14 August 1981, in a match against Werder Bremen, Ewald Lienen suffered a severe injury, as defender, Norbert Siegmann, slit his thigh open with his studs resulting in an open deep wound of 25 cm, exposing his muscles and femur.
Despite his open leg, Lienen ran after the coach of Werder Bremen, Otto Rehhagel, whom he blamed for the foul, insisting that Rehhagel had incited Siegmann to play rough.
Although the wound got 23 stitches, Lienen started practicing again just after 17 days. Maybe in terms of open-wound injuries, this one is the worst soccer injury of all time. What do you think?
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During Celtic's 1–0 defeat in a UEFA Cup tie against Lyon on 21 October 1999, Larsson suffered a career-threatening injury, breaking his leg in two places in a challenge with Serge Blanc. This kept him out for 8 months, however, he returned to the pitch on the last day of the 1999/2000 season.
It was assumed that Larsson had suffered a compound leg fracture, an injury which would normally result in an even longer absence or possibly even end his professional career but X-rays soon revealed that the injury was not as serious as it was assumed.
During a match between two Brazilian clubs namely Botafogo and Flamengo in 2007, Luciano Almeida suffered a severe injury to his right leg that kept him out for 5 months until he fully recovered.
Almeida holds his broken foot as teammate Leandro Guerreiro and Sport Club Recife's Dutra stand over him. Almeida's foot broke and turned perpendicular to his leg as the result of the injury he received when he was dribbling the ball alone.
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Inigo Diaz De Cerio
On 8 November 2008, Díaz de Cerio suffered a serious injury after a collision with SD Eibar goalkeeper Zigor, fracturing his right leg's tibia and fibula. After a successful surgery, the club medical's staff stated that his recovery would be very slow, and with this on the horizon, he had actually missed much of the season.
He recovered almost a year after his injury (5 November 2009), playing 30 minutes in a 1–1 draw at C.D. Nacional in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
In a league match against Ipswich Town on 9 September 2000, Nilis’ collision with goalkeeper Richard Wright left him with a double compound fracture of his right shin. He was told that the injury had got infected and that he could have lost his leg if the disease had spread.
“I cried when I was told. It has been a nightmare and sometimes I wonder how I can get through the day. It has affected me very badly mentally.I know there are worse things that happen in the world, but this has destroyed my dreams,” Nilis once said.
Due to the severe injury, his playing career came to an end. Maybe this career-ending injury is the worst soccer injury ever happened?
Djibril Cisse, the France and Liverpool striker, fractured his right leg after being tackled by a Chinese defender (Shandong Luneng) in a 3-1 friendly win over China. He missed 2006 World Cup due to this injury.
In the 10th minute, Cisse was chasing the ball down the right flank where he was knocked off balance by a defender. As he fell, his right leg twisted under him and buckled above the ankle. He was taken away on a stretcher and received treatment on his right leg for several minutes before being taken to hospital.
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In a 2007 match against Estudiantes Tecos UAG, Mexican midfielder, Edgar Andrade suffered a horrific injury while tackling to recover a ball for his team.
Andrade actually twisted his ankle and suffered a major fracture in his leg. He was out for months before he could full revocer.
In February 2006, in a match against Liverpool, Alan Smith, playing for Manchester United, injured himself horribly while attempting to block a John Arne Riise free-kick. He has revealed that he never fully recovered from the injury over the past 12 years and that it changed him completely as a footballer.
Alan Smith’s injury was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the worst injuries he’d ever seen, but as he once said, he continued playing through the pain barrier because he still loved football: “I knew with the injury it would be touch and go whether I could carry on playing.
The surgeon said that. It would have been easier to walk away and people remember you as a top Premier League player. But I didn’t want that, because I loved playing football. Your love of it makes you go through the pain barrier.”
Alf Inge Haaland
A revenge case! Haaland, who already had suffered an injury to his left knee, was on the receiving end of a violent tackle from Roy Keane during the 2000/2001 Premier League season, after which he underwent surgery. Although he attempted to make a comeback, he was forced to retirement in 2003.
Keane later revealed in his autobiography that it was a premeditated revenge after he suffered a season-ending injury while trying to foul Haaland. Roy’s knee-high attack on Haaland in the Manchester derby earned him a red card, a five-game suspension and a £150,000 fine at the time.
Perhaps this injury is not the worst soccer injury ever, but it could be in case Haaland’s leg was not off the ground, as mentioned by him.
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On 30 August 2009, Wasilewski suffered a horrible injury in the 26th minute of a draw between Anderlecht and Standard Liège when Liège's Axel Witsel made a challenge. Witsel threw himself to a tackle to be the first to the ball but he directly planted his studs directly on the leg of his opponent (Wasilewski).
Wasilewski screamed in agony with his foot dangling, and Witsel was sent off with a red card. Wasilewski underwent corrective surgery for open fractures to both the tibia and fibula and Witsel was suspended for eight games by the Belgian FA over the incident. After a long rehabilitation, Wasilewski finally made his return on 8 May 2010.
Petr Cech’s case is the proof that it’s not just outfield players who are at risk of devastating injuries. In a match against Reading at the Madejski Stadium on 14 October 2006, former Chelsea goalkeeper, Petr Cech, almost lost his life following a controversial challenge from Reading’s Stephen Hunt.
Cech was left severely concussed after being kneed in the head by the Irish midfielder and collapsed in the dressing room after being carried from the playing area. Amid fears he had suffered a blood clot, he was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital where he underwent an emergency surgery for a depressed fractured of the skull.
Although he was told he had to remain out for at least a year, Cech made a miraculous return to the Chelsea first team just three months later, however, this time with a protective rugby-style helmet that protected the areas of his skull weakened by the collision with Hunt. Maybe Cech has received the worst soccer injury a goalkeeper can receive? What do you think?
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Playing for Swansea City in a match against Sunderland, Neil Taylor went through a horrible leg injury. He collided badly with Sunderland’s Gardner and broke his ankle. Taylor was actually injured while his foot was trapped underneath him as he fell to the ground taking the full weight Gardner on the way down.
Taylor immediately called to the Swansea medical staff as he held his left ankle in agony after just 15 minutes of the match. He was taken out of the field in a stretcher and later on went through multiple surgeries on multiple fractures he had received.
In a match against Wolves in 2010, Bobby Zamora broke his ankle after receiving a challenge from captain Karl Henry who insisted that there was no malice in the challenge. "I know Bobby. I'd never go out to hurt anyone, let alone him. I felt it was a good tackle. I just tried to win the ball, but I could see he was in agony straight away and called to their physio,” said Henry later.
Henry touched the ball first in tackling Zamora, but Zamora’s right leg was trapped between Henry's legs as he went down. He was in obvious pain, and even received oxygen before being taken off on a stretcher with his immobilised right leg.
Surgery revealed Zamora, 29 at the time, had also damaged ankle ligaments and was expected to be out for four months.
In a match against Stoke City in 2010, Aaron Ramsey suffered a double fracture when challenged by Ryan Shawcross in a tackle. Aaron collapsed on contact and was left writhing on the floor, with his right foot appearing to hang at an unnatural angle. Ryan was immediately sent off with a red card.
The injury to Ramsey was so shocking that the game will be remembered not for Arsenal’s win over Stoke City, but for the injury to Ramsey, which bore an eerie similarity to the broken leg suffered by striker Eduardo against Birmingham almost exactly two years ago, with television producers opting not to show replays of the incident.
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In a match against Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal, Sevilla’s midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli suffered a very serious injury to his knee.
After entering the game as a second-half substitute, Krohn-Dehli received the ball in the 70th minute, but upon turning, fell under his own weight before defenders reached him.
He grabbed his left knee while screaming in pain, and eventually left the pitch on a cart. The player suffered a displaced fracture of the kneecap with the lower section being moved out of position, along with damage to the patellar tendon at its junction with the bone.
A medical source said that the patellar tendon (that connects the kneecap to the shin) would need to be reinserted into the kneecap, and the fractured kneecap put back together and held in place.
On 30 September 2001 during the Galician derby against Celta de Vigo, Manuel Pablo suffered a horrific tibia injury after a tackle by Everton’s Giovanella.
The injury came just a few months before 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, a tournament in which he was to play for Spain.
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The worst soccer injuries don’t have to always happen in a standard soccer match! Euro Beach Soccer League, 2012: In match between Portugal and Spain, Cristian Torres attempted an unsuccessful scissor kick on a ball from a corner kick, while Bruno Torres also got tangled up in the action.
As a result, Bruno Torres’ knee was ruptured in two. The injury had such a horrific sight that even some players on the field couldn’t stand it.
One of the worst soccer injures ever happened to a goalkeeper that might even dwarf that of Petr Cech’s. On May 29, 2010, in the 34th minute of a match against New York Red Bulls, Burpo collided with Dane Richards as both went for the ball at the top of the box, breaking both his tibia and fibula.
Many observers compared the injury to the one which ended the career of American football star Joe Theismann in 1985 and the similar double-break which ended the career of English Premier League player David Busst in 1996.
It actually ended Burpo’s career as a goalkeeper, though he later became the goalkeeper coach at D.C. United in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Maybe in terms of the worst leg break ever happened in the world of football, this career-ending injury could be at the top?
In a match against Roma in March 2015, Federico Mattiello suffered a horrendous leg injury while tackled by A.S Roma’s star, Radja Nainggolan. The damage sustained left teammates and opponents noticeably disturbed as Mattiello was carried off on a stretcher.
He returned to action on 19 October and appeared in a home match against Genova in which his team lost 3-2.
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Playing for Manchester United in a match against PSV Eindhoven, Luke Shaw, the world’s most expensive teenage player at the time, sustained a horrific injury to his leg (double limb fracture) after tackled by PSV Eindhoven’s Héctor Moreno.
Receiving oxygen on the pitch at the Philips Stadion, he was taken on a stretcher from the field to the nearby St Anna Ziekenhuis hospital in Geldrop for surgery. “I was really close to losing my leg but I didn’t know that until six months later when the doctor told me,” said Shaw.
In September 2010, in a Champions League tie against Rangers, Antonio Valencia of Manchester United received an ankle injury that kept him out for the rest of the season. He actually received the injury in the 62nd minute when challenged by Ranger’s defender, Kirk Broadfoot.
As the pictures of the incident showed, Valencia’s right leg was hanging from his ankle with his boot at the right angle to his ankle.
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