If there is something that Malaysians love other than their food, it would be sports. They have a wide range of sports that brought local and international fame. Sports has also become their pastime with many of the locals playing badminton, cycling, running, and football during their free time.
Malaysians are also aware that this keen interest in sports would also make them more prone to injury. In fact, research showed that more than half of individuals who engage in sports suffer an injury. A sports injury is often a concomitant condition among sports enthusiasts.
In Malaysia, the most common injuries include:
One of the sports that Malaysians avidly support is football. Football is the most popular sport in the country and is considered a national sport. The sport is run by the Football Association of Malaysia, which administers the national league and the national football teams. About two-thirds of the population are fans of the sport so being a football star is a big thing when you are in Malaysia. Players take careful precautions not to have any injury that may derail their careers. Some even undergo rigorous training and diet to keep their body in shape.
How can one injury affect a football player’s career? A lot. It can actually make them quit football altogether because they cannot simply go back to their tip-top shape and can no longer contribute significantly to the team.
To give you an idea, here are some of the worst injuries in football:
Marcin Wasilewski suffered a cringing double fracture of his right leg during the Jupiler League tournament against Standard Liege in August of 2009. Alex Witsel, Standard’s midfielder stepped on the Anderlecht defender during the 25th minute of the game.
Witsel received a straight red card and an 8-match suspension whilst Wasilewski had to take a nine-month break with an open fracture of both the tibia and fibula as a result of the injury. Wasilewski was quite fortunate to still play for his team marking his return with a goal against Zulte Waregem in a 2 to 1 win.
Neil Taylor, a left-back player of Wales, had a broken ankle whilst they were playing against Sunderland last September 2012. The injury resulted from a challenge on Craig Gardner, Sunderland’s midfielder.
Taylor collided with Gardner as his lower left log bowed under as the two players crashed on the ground. He was given oxygen as he was brought out of the field on a stretcher.
Henrik Larsson suffered a double fracture injury of his left leg whilst playing during the Lyon-Celtic game last October 1999. The career-threatening injury forced Larsson to spend eight months on the sidelines. After completing his rehabilitation, Larsson successfully recovered and even became the best club striker with a total of 242 goals.
During the Liverpool FC vs Manchester United game in a FA Cup tie, Alan Smith broke his leg and dislocated his left ankle whilst he was trying to block Liverpool’s John Arne Riise’s free kick. Smith underwent an operation the next day and was put on the sidelines for seven months. Smith made a strong comeback in the Champions League as he scored a goal in one of the most remarkable European nights at Old Trafford.
WestHam midfielder Kieron Dyer has been suffering from injuries during his career but the worst of them all would have been when he broke his right leg into two places. Dyer was tackled by Joe Jacobson during the League Cup and was severely injured causing him to miss the whole 2007-08 season.
Italian football player Francesco Totti was fouled by Richard Vanigli during the Italian Championship tournament held on February 2006. Totti, as a result, had a fractured left fibula and ligament injury. He underwent an operation where a metal plate was placed on his ankle and an intensive rehabilitation program.
Probably one of the highly regrettable injuries is Luc Nilis’ injury as he was one of the most productive strikers of Europe during his career. During his PSV days, Nilis was the Dutch Eredivisie top scorer.
Luc Nilis was playing for Aston Villa when he suffered a horrific injury. Nilis collided with Ipswich Town goalkeeper Richard Wright and as a result, had a double compound injury of his right shin. What’s worse is that after the operation, his leg had an infection with doctors considering amputation. The freak accident ended Nilis’ career four months after the injury and after playing for three games for Aston Villa.
Nilis absolved Wright of the injury, saying that the collision was not deliberate.
Djibril Cisse suffered not only one injury during his career of playing football. His first injury was when he was playing against the Blackburn Rovers. He broke his left leg, fracturing his tibia and fibula after an awkward landing after his blade boots were caught in the turf. The striker’s second injury came after two years. During his stint for France, Cisse broke his right leg during the pre-tournament warm-up against China causing him to miss the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. Cisse was tackled by Zheng Zhi and accidentally twisted his leg as he was falling.
The former Dinamo Zagreb striker Eduardo da Silva suffered an awful leg fracture while playing against Birmingham City in 2008. The Arsenal striker was tackled by Martin Taylor whilst his left leg was caught as it was planted on the ground, causing a broken fibula and an open dislocation of his ankle. Da Silva was sent to the hospital and operated on immediately. Replays of the incident were not available as the injury was pretty graphic.
Da Silva returned to action after spending less than a year.
As with any other sports, there are players who are considered as the biggest rivals. Former Manchester City defender Alf-Inge Haaland is known to have a feud with Manchester United captain Roy Keane who is popular for his stubborn pitch style.
The feud began in September 1997 when United played against Leeds and Keane had an anterior cruciate ligament injury, keeping him out of the game for a year or so. Haaland, playing for the home side, stood over the injured Keane as he was on the ground and claimed that Keane was only feigning an injury. In April 2001, Keane exacted out his revenge against Haaland who was playing for Man City. Haaland received a deliberate foul on the right knee by Keane. The Irishman admitted in his autobiography about his intention to hurt Haaland, who was never able to play a full match ever again.
One of the worst injuries in football is Patrick Battiston’s injury. The French defender collided with West German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher. Schumacher’s hard shoulder charge knocked Battiston unconscious and also gave him cracked vertebrae and broken teeth. The injury forced Battiston to undergo rehabilitation and therapy for five months.
The last and the worst of all football injuries of all time is the one received by David Busst. Coventry defender Busst was only playing professionally for five years when this life-changing injury happened. Two minutes into the match, Busst positioned himself upfield as his teammates gunned for a corner. As soon as the ball came, Dennis Irwin and Brain McClair of Manchester United immediately launched at the ball to block it causing the two players to clash with Busst. The clash shattered Busst’s tibia and fibula of his right leg. The match had to be delayed as they cleared the blood from the pitch. In total, Busst had 26 surgeries and suffered several infections that nearly caused his leg to be amputated.
Busst’s leg injury is often mentioned as one of the worst injuries in football that even United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, a tough player on the field, cannot even look at the scene and even threw up on the pitch. Schmeichel also underwent counselling and fans had to watch as tournament officials cleaned up blood from the field.
The injury forced David Busst to retire from professional football at a young age of 29.