Footballers are a pampered lot. Going down at the slightest touch on the pitch and crying for their moms when they have the sniffles. But over the years, footballers have continued to amaze us with their ability to get injured in every imaginable way possible. Here’s a look at the top 10 funniest/most bizarre.
- Santiago Canizares; the things we do to smell good
Perhaps this belongs to the category of unlucky rather than funny. It was 2002 and the blond Spanish first-choice goalkeeper was in his hotel room at Spain’s training base. After he accidentally smashed a bottle of aftershave, a shard of glass severed his tendon in his right foot. After being told his World Cup was effectively over, a certain Iker Casilas came along and Canizares was forgotten.
- Rio Ferdinand; couch potato
Having just joined Leeds for a record £18m in November 2000 and only playing eight times for his new club since the move, the world’s most expensive defender decided to rest his leg on his coffee table while catching up on some telly while at home. To be honest, we’ve all been there but Rio probably is the only one that managed to strain his tendon behind the knee while watching
- Kevin Prince-Boateng; sex machine
Whilst not mentioning any specific injury, in the 2011/12 Serie A season, Boateng suffered a range of injuries for which his girlfriend, Sports Illustrated model Melissa Satta managed to shed some light on: “The reason why he is always injured is because we have sex 7-10 times a week.” I’m sure our hearts go out to him.
- David James; couch potato number 2
Everyone says watching too much TV is bad for you, but the former England goalkeeper takes this to the extreme. He once pulled a back muscle while reaching for the TV remote control. He’s just not that good with his hands…
- Leroy Lita; bedridden
The Reading striker missed the first month of the 2007/08 through injury after damaging a leg muscle as he stretched in bed after waking up. Then Reading boss Steve Coppell didn’t really see the funny side: “He woke up and stretched while in bed and he has done something to his leg. It is not an injury that should be ridiculed or made light of. It looks to be a problem with a nerve. Maybe he has displaced one, but he could hardly walk on Monday and had to sit out training.” Guess it was one of those days when staying in bed really would have been better.
- Adam Chapman; good Dad
In October 2012, Oxford United’s Adam Chapman earned himself a trip to the hospital after burning his nipple. With milk. The gaffer Chris Wilder explained: “Adam Chapman, like this good dad he is, was making his baby some milk and he managed to shake the bottle up and down, but he didn’t put the lid back on properly. He burnt his chest and had to go to hospital for a check up.” Thankfully, he didn’t have to cry over spilt milk as he played through the pain and got a 3-1 win over Wycombe the next day.
- Darius Vassell; handyman
During an attempt at DIY foot surgery in October 2002, Vassell tried to relieve the pain of a swollen big toe by taking a cordless power drill to it in hope of draining the blood and easing the pressure. Naturally, that earned him a trip to the hospital and consequently missing the next 3 games. Thankfully, football worked out for him rather than his second calling as a handyman.
- Kevin Kyle; good Dad number 2
In April 2006, Sunderland and Scotland striker Kevin Kyle was just going about his business of feeding his 8-month old son, Max. He had the youngster perched on his knee, while holding a jug of hot water to warm up a bottle of milk. But Max slipped and booted the jug – splashing water in his dad’s lap, burning his testicles and inner thigh. A club insider said: “He is walking a bit like John Wayne at the moment.”
- Michael Stensgaard; Iron Man
In May 1994, Michael Stensgaard was bought by Liverpool for a transfer fee of GBP400,000 to succeed Bruce Grobbelaar as understudy to David James. A bizarre injury effectively ended his chances of breaking into the Liverpool first team when he dislocated his shoulder when setting up an ironing board soon after joining the club. The injury evolved into a recurring shoulder ailment requiring surgery, and he never played a first team game for the club.
- Dave Beasant; the food connoisseur
During the 1993/1994 Premier League season, Beasant infamously dropped a bottle of salad cream in the kitchen and tried to control it with his barefoot. The bottle tore a tendon in his big toe and the Chelsea goalkeeper promptly missed 2 months of the season. What we can all learn for this is, never bring your work back home.