Drogba, Ferdinand…who next for the World Cup curse?

June 4, 2010

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


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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Conor Hale and Fan of Kaka, Reuters Soccer. Reuters Soccer said: Drogba, Ferdinand…who next for the World Cup curse? http://link.reuters.com/pum38k […]

Posted by Tweets that mention Drogba, Ferdinand…who next for the World Cup curse? | Analysis & Opinion | — Topsy.com | Report as abusive

[…] Mark Meadows at Reuters sees the injuries as an inevitable part of pre-World Cup protocol, noting that soccer players, just coming off of their regular season are tired and overworked. He says, “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. […]

Posted by Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand – Part of World Cup Curse? | Vuvuzela South Africa | Report as abusive

These friendly matches are supposed to prepare players for the wc2010. hope no other players get injured…

Posted by Kotaro | Report as abusive

I hope all the player in the SPain national team will be healthy and be fit for the challenge. Go for the Glory! Spain for 2010 World cup!

Win $180,000.00 playing World Cup fantasy football http://arenaace.com/

Posted by Anggam | Report as abusive

Fifa needs to step in and make changes to leagues schedules to insure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen in the future. Accidents in training happen, but people want to see the best of the best in world cup and these injuries diminish the tournament. League schedules need to be curtailed/suspended in the run up to world cup and training should be treated as sparring matches where players are protected to the highest degree from injuries and friendlies need to be limited and closely monitored again treated like sparring matches in boxing where the possibility of injury is greatly reduced.

Posted by peterangelo | Report as abusive