Drogba, Ferdinand…who next for the World Cup curse?
A top player seems to get injured on the eve of every major tournament and this year it looks like Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand have suffered the World Cup curse.
Ivory Coast captain Drogba is seriously doubtful for the extravaganza after injuring his elbow in a friendly against Japan on Friday.
England captain Ferdinand is out of the tournament after he hobbled out of hospital on crutches following a scan on his injured left knee.
The 31-year-old defender suffered the injury in the final minutes of England’s first major training session in South Africa after he went into a tackle and fell badly.
Italy’s Andrea Pirlo has also suffered a calf strain and could also miss the whole World Cup.
It’s still seven days before the big kick off and there could be yet more injuries in the runup.
Is there something amiss here? Are players trying too hard in friendlies and training? I reckon teams in the remaining freindlies will be thinking again before launching into any risky tackles.
At Euro 2008 it was Italy skipper Fabio Cannavaro who was ruled out before it all began having been poleaxed by team mate Giorgio Chiellini. Wouldn’t players be better off training on their own in a gym, away from any potential mishaps, ahead of big tournaments or do you need everyone to gel on the field?
Footballers are bound to be tired after a long season and tweaks are to be expected, it’s the curse of the World Cup itself coming at the end of the soccer year for many nations.
I’m thinking back to a blog I did three years ago about whether professional players are too fit. If they were 10 percent less highly-tuned, their hamstrings and ligaments would not snap so much.
But which brave coach would suggest that every team trains a little bit less? Other teams could ignore the idea and have a clear physical advantage, even if the risk of injury is greater.
PHOTO: Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba lies injured during the international friendly soccer match against Japan in Sion June 4, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse