Top 10 worst football injuries of all time
List of the most gruesome football injuries
Football is, without a doubt, the king of all sports. It is intense, fast paced and spectacular. Unfortunately, there are times when it can become shocking. Almost every single football fan has witnessed at least one very bad injury.
Some of them required only a few weeks of absence and, maybe, a minor surgery, while others were so devastating that ended the careers of the players that sustained them. Following is a list of the 10 worst football injuries of all time.
10) Kieron Dyer
August 18, 2007 – Bristol Rovers vs. West Ham
Some West Ham fans remember that Kieron Dyer had always been prone to injuries. None of them was more serious than the one that occurred in the second round of the Carling Cup about eight and a half years ago.
The match had barely started, when a tackle by Joe Jacobson caused Dyer’s right leg to be broken in two places. There were rumors that he would retire, but Kieron Dyer returned to action 5 months later while he continued playing football until April 2013 when he retired, having played in 3 other teams after his injury, Ipswich Town, Queens Park Rangers and, finally, Middlesbrough.
9) Henrik Larsson
October 22, 1999 – Lyon vs. Celtic
This phenomenal Swedish striker suffered a career threatening injury during the UEFA cup match when Celtic faced Lyon. A rough challenge with Serge Blanc caused a double fracture on Larsson’s left leg.
Many believed that this would be the end of his football career but, against all odds, Larsson managed to make a comeback in the last match of the 1999-2000 season.
He scored a total of 180 goals with Celtic until transferring to Barcelona in 2004.
8) Alan Smith
February 18, 2006 – Liverpool vs. Manchester United
Anyone can understand the severity of an injury when one of the best football manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, calls it one of the worst he has ever seen.
The strange thing about this specific injury is that it didn’t involve a rough tackle from another player or any other sort of contact. It was just a miscalculated landing that caused a broken left leg and a dislocated ankle for Alan Smith.
It took him 7 months to recover, but he continued his career, leaving Manchester United in the same year and transferring to Newcastle United.
7) Djibril Cisse
October 30, 2004 – Blackburn vs. Liverpool
Considering his injury record, Djibril Cisse has to be one of the toughest football players ever.
In a strange flow of events, Cisse somehow caught his shoe on the field’s grass which caused him to fall really awkwardly resulting in fracturing his left leg’s fibula and tibia.
Miraculously, he only stayed out of action for seven months even though he revealed in an interview that if it hadn’t been for the immediate help and treatment by the stadium’s doctors his leg would have to be amputated.
In an enormous streak of bad luck, Djibril Cisse broke his right leg 2 years later in a World Cup match between France and China.
Once again, he resumed his football career after not participating in games for only 7 months.
6) Luc Nilis
September 9, 2000 – Aston Villa vs. Ipswich
Nilis was the most anticipated transfer for Aston Villa fans when he joined the team right before the 2000-2001 season had started.
Unfortunately for them and the entire world of soccer, his career ended only 3 games after the beginning of the season. A very rough collision with Richard Wright, the goal keeper of Ipswich at the time caused a double fracture on Nilis’ right leg, forcing him to announce his retirement about four months after the incident.
5) Petr Cech
October 14, 2006 – Reading vs. Chelsea
One of the most famous cases of football injuries is the one of Petr Cech. The phenomenal goalkeeper sustained an extremely serious injury after receiving a knee hit to the head from Stephen Hunt of Reading.
It was later revealed that Cech collapsed right after he was carried out of the football field.
The medical staff of Chelsea feared that the injury could be proven fatal for the goalkeeper since the forming of a blood clot would be extremely dangerous to his life. He was immediately taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital to undergo surgery.
Contrary to predictions from experts, Chec returned to the squad of Chelsea an astonishing three months after the injury. He has been wearing that famous head guard since then.
4) Eduardo da Silva
September 23, 2008 – Birmingham vs. Arsenal
Eduardo da Silva had his share of football terrible injuries while playing for Arsenal when he suffered both a broken leg and a dislocated left ankle, all that because of a tackle by Martin Taylor.
Some people believed that the tackle was intentional, given that he was an exceptional player, but according to many football analysts the nature of the tackle and injury ruled out intention.
He was out for 12 months before returning in a Cup match against Cardiff.
3) Alf Inge Haaland
April 21, 2001 – Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Being remembered as one of the dirtiest moves ever, Alf Inge Haaland suffered a knee injury that ended his career in July 2003 after attempting to return to action more than once.
Roy Keane was the one responsible for this brutal injury which was caused intentionally as he revealed in his autobiography. Keane justified his action as a revenge move as Haaland had caused to him an injury that forced Keane to miss the entire season back in 1997.
2) Patrick Battiston
July 8, 1982 – France vs. West Germany
This has to be the worst Football World Cup match injury ever, one that probably every fan remembers or has heard of.
Patrick Battiston was running towards West Germany’s goalpost facing goalkeeper Harald Schumacher when the latter decided to hit Battiston with an aerial martial arts-like move, leaving him in a comma in front of the shocked players and the stadium audience.
From the collision, Battiston’s vertebrae were damaged, he lost four teeth plus his jaw was broken.
After five months, and after having his jaw surgically put back into place, he returned to action playing for Saint Etienne.
1) David Busst
April 8, 1996 – Manchester United vs. Coventry City
The most shocking injury the world of football has ever seen, one that left psychological scars to Peter Schmeichel, Manchester United’s goalkeeper was the one of David Busst in April 8, 1996.
Following a brutal clash with David Irwin, the Coventry City’s defender suffered a double fracture on his leg. The horrifying detail of the injury was that when his fibula bone cracked, it went through the skin and was visible to the players surrounding him.
That day, Busst’s career was over while Peter Schmeichel required counseling help for a few weeks after the incident, while trying to erase the gruesome images from his memory.