Injuries are a very sad part of the game of football. We are robbed of seeing the players perform at their best when they get injured, and some injuries are so severe that they end careers.
Almost every sportsperson has been injured playing the game, but most of them eventually recover and get back on the field. But there are a few players that seem to be on the treatment table more often than the pitch.
Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essen is one player who has seen far more bench and table action than most of his former team-mates.
Nicknamed “the bison”, Essien was an explosive midfielder who never backed away from a little bit of action. But needless to say, due to his frequent injuries we never got to see the best of him on a constant basis.
The Ghanaian international has suffered knee and leg injuries multiple times whilst at Chelsea, and at times has faced periods of up to six months out of action.
Essien was also forced to miss out on the 2010 World Cup, in which Ghana were eliminated in the quarterfinals on penalties against Uruguay.
Former Liverpool centre back Agger has had his fair share of injuries, most of them coming during his time at Merseyside. The Danish defender spent almost a decade with Liverpool, but managed to play less than 30 games almost every season.
Agger won multiple Danish Football Player of the Year awards while at Liverpool.
In 2007, he had to miss almost an entire season due to injuries; he sustained damage to both his calf and knee, as well as the back and ribs. Agger returned to Brøndby for personal reasons in August 2014, and retired two years later at the age of 31.
On that note, here is a list of 10 of the most injury-prone footballers of all time.
When he is given the opportunity, Reus has proven to be among the best players in the world. It’s just that fitness has often been a concern for him and injuries have cruelly prevented him from representing Germany on the biggest of stages.
Reus missed out on the 2014 World Cup due to an injury sustained in a friendly against Armenia. He has missed multiple games over the years because of minor and major injury issues, and it’ll be a shame if his career is cut short.
On his day, King was up there as one of the best defenders to ever play for England and in the Premier League. Unfortunately though, a chronic knee condition restricted the amount of football King could play and he often had to train alone in order to stay in shape.
Injuries appeared to start getting the better of him in his 20s and in 2012 he retired from the game at 31. England and Tottenham fans were denied a truly great defender. Who knows what might’ve happened if King had stayed fit during his career?
Marco van Basten
Van Basten is considered to be one of the greatest ever players to strike a football. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to enjoy watching him play for too long.
His accomplishments for powerhouse Ajax took him to AC Milan in 1987, and there he won two European Cups to add to his Euro ’88 triumph with his country.
He was 28 when he played his last game in 1993, with persistent knee and ankle problems forcing him to call time on his illustrious career two years later.
Wilshere promised so much when he burst onto the professional scene as a teenager in 2008. Since then though, a number of different injuries ranging from ankle, knee, foot and hamstring have halted the midfielder’s progress.
Wilshere is a pivotal part of his team for club and country, but both have had to operate without him far too often.
He was sold to West Ham this season after not being in the new manager’s plans. Hopefully he can revive his football career with this move.
There may have never been a more injury-prone player in football than Abou Diaby. He is the ultimate injury-prone footballer and it is a big shame to see such a talented player waste his career in this manner.
During his nine year stay at Arsenal, Diaby has amassed only about 120 league appearances. He did manage to play a career high of 40 games in the 2009-10 season, but that was the rare exception.
Diaby missed the Champions League final in 2006 with a fractured ankle, which needed multiple operations to fix and kept him out for numerous months. Since returning from his ankle injury, the midfielder has endured niggling injuries that have prevented him from playing a full season of football.
He was released in 2015 and went to Marseille, but he barely played a game for his new club due to injury. He is now a free agent.
Hargreaves was known as a good player but was never able to get a consistent run of games due to injury.
He had established himself as one of England’s stand-out performers in the 2002 World Cup. But after his Bayern days were over, he only featured 39 times for Manchester United in four seasons.
He still managed to bag a Champions League winners medal AND a Premier League winners medal, which shows just how talented he was.
Sadly though, he was never on the pitch long enough to establish a long-standing legacy. He was even forced to resort to YouTube in an attempt to prove his fitness to potential suitors.
His exploits landed him a deal with Manchester City but after only four games, he got injured and was released from his contract.
For all of Sturridge’s talents, he just can't seem to shake off the injury bug that has robbed significant amounts of playing time from him.
The striker has endured rotten luck with injury over the years, which has seen him require treatment 48 times, with 31 of those coming since he joined Liverpool in 2013.
A persistent hip injury has been the most consistent complaint that has dogged the 28-year-old since he made the switch to Merseyside.
Knee injuries bothered Ronaldo throughout his career, stretching back to his days as a teenager at PSV in 1994. Despite those setbacks, he is still regarded as the greatest striker of the last 20 years and one of the greatest footballers to ever play the game.
Ronaldo overcame several fitness issues in the Netherlands to score 54 times in 58 games for the Dutch club. He continued to score regularly at Inter between 1997 and 2002 after a spell at Barcelona.
More injuries plagued him in Italy though, and they didn’t completely go away in Madrid. While at Milan in 2008 he suffered another serious injury, ending his career as a professional once and for all.
He went back to Brazil, ending his career at Brazilian club Corinthians before eventually retiring in 2011.
With all the performances and big games Ronaldo has had in his career, one can only imagine what he could have achieved if he was consistently injury-free.
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