20 Most Embarrassing Injuries in World Football History
Every club, and fans of the club, hate it when the star player picks up an injury.
Even when it's only a squad player, a few weeks out with an irritating strain or knock can sometimes make the difference between having a match winner on your bench and just a fading, aging player to make up the numbers.
A heroic headed clearance off the line, taking a boot in the face for the team, can sometimes make it seem worthwhile losing the player for a while, or perhaps a crunching challenge in the middle of the park against a big rival.
But sometimes, injuries are so moronic, so bizarrely attained that the bearer of bad news to his club can do nothing but offer up the most ridiculous sounding, but truthful, explanation and just accept that they'll be sidelined through stupidity.
Here are the 20 most embarrassing injuries in world football.
Rio Ferdinand Strains Leg Watching TV
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, at Leeds at the time, missed several weeks after watching TV in one position for too long and trying to reach the phone with his foot, straining his knee tendon in the process.
As if he didn't pick up enough injuries on the pitch as it was.
Michael Stensgaard Loses Epic Battle Against.... the Ironing Board
Who? Ah, that Michael Stensgaard.
Liverpool's reserve goalkeeper never played for the first team, but did manage to dislocate his shoulder in a domestic incident one day.
Upon opening a cupboard in his home, the ironing board came clattering out and landed on his shoulder, costing him several months of sitting on the bench at Anfield.
Santiago Cañizares Missed the World Cup, but He Smelled Great
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
I thought goalkeepers were meant to have good reactions with their hands?
Santiago Cañizares was all prepared and ready to go to the 2002 World Cup with Spain when he somehow managed to drop a bottle of aftershave, which went hurtling towards the floor.
Not to worry, Cañizares stuck out a foot to bravely save the day—and severed a tendon in his foot in the process.
Back home with you, then.
Alessandro Nesta Games on Too Long
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
The modern footballer is something of a pansy, is he not?
Former AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta apparently suffered a strained wrist tendon after spending too long playing on his PlayStation console.
Can't imagine Franco Baresi coming in with a similar complaint, somehow.
Svein Grondalen Missed World Cup Qualifier Crashing Into... a Moose. Seriously.
valdosta.edu for photo
Sometimes a man goes down in folklore, enters into legend, for something so incredibly, wonderfully barmy that it needs no further explanation.
Svein Grondalen, former Norwegian defender, is that man.
The international player missed a meetup and fixture for his national side after colliding while out jogging.
With a moose.
Dave Beasant vs. the Salad Cream Bottle
Anton Want/Getty Images
Who knows what mad thoughts are screaming through big Dave's mind as he lets out a furious roar in this photo.
Maybe it was the memory of dropping a bottle of salad cream on his foot, which saw him sit out injured as he recovered.
Or maybe he was remembering those goals he conceded against Norwich City.
Richard Wright Didn't Notice the Notice
photo from lemaze-studio.com
What is it with all these goalkeepers?
Arsenal and England No.1-in-waiting Richard Wright did his prospects no good whatsoever by ludicrously falling over a "please keep off the grass" sign as he warmed up in the goalmouth.
A twisted ankle saw him sidelined for even longer than usual between actual goalkeeping appearances.
Ivano Bonetti in a Chicken Wing Battle
loyalkng.com for photo
Ivano Bonetti is, sadly, not an exotic up-and-coming striker from the continent, but actually a former Grimsby Town player from the mid 1990s.
After an apparent lack of effort one day in a dismal defeat by Sheffield Wednesday, his manager, Brian Laws, decided that the best way to startle some action into his players would be to throw things at them.
Unluckily for Bonetti, Laws had pinpoint accuracy and hurled a plate of chicken wings into his face, fracturing his cheek bone.
Darius Vassel, Erm, Power Drills His Own Foot
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
How do you even explain this one?
This wasn't a random act of droppery, a mind-numbingly awful accident or a case of the butterfingers such as has befallen our goalkeeping friends, Beasant and Cañizares; this was a willfull drilling of one's own foot because he thought it would make things better.
Darius Vassell, former Aston Villa speedster and England penalty-misser extraordinnaire, had a blood blister beneath a toe nail.
Obviously, the best way to remedy this was to drill through the nail to relieve the pressure, right?
Right...until an infection set in. Unsurprisingly.
Steve Morrow Breaks Collarbone in Bizarre Cup Final Celebration
David Cannon/Getty Images
An actual on-the-pitch episode of idiocy! Oh, joy unabounded.
Steve Morrow is the hero this time, scoring a goal for Arsenal in the League Cup final of 1993—the winning goal, no less.
In the ensuing celebration, Morrow goes up on the shoulders of his teammates and comes crashing down to the ground, breaking his collarbone in the process.
Paolo Diogo Tears off His Finger
To have and to hold, etc, etc, until death do us part.
Or, in the case of Paolo Diogo, until an advertising hoarding and my finger do us part.
After scoring a goal over in Italy, Diogo vaulted a fence, but got his ring caught up, tearing off part of the digit. The hospital told him it was impossible to have it reattached and advised removing the rest of it.
Michael Rensing Struggles with Shoelaces
Stanley Chou/Getty Images
Tying shoelaces can be a tricky business... for a five or six-year-old.
German goalkeeper (another one??!) Michael Rensing, however, was marginally older when he ran into trouble doing the same exercise.
In fact, he managed to put his back out while tying them up, missing a few games.
Incidentally, he also caused teammate (and fellow goalkeeper, of course) Oliver Kahn out of action by giving him a black eye in the warm up for a game—booting a ball into his face too hard.
Ever Banega Runs over His Own Leg
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
From the Spanish league and Valencia, Ever Banega hit the headlines when he stopped at a gas station to fill his car up.
Sadly, he forgot to apply the handbrake, and when he got out of the car, it moved, pinning him between vehicle and pavement.
A double leg fracture was the end result.
Emerson Misses World Cup Glory After Messing About in Goal
Getty Images/Getty Images
Here's Emerson in action for Brazil in 2002.
There would have been more photos of him in similar poses, as well as one with him lifting the World Cup that summer, but those ones are missing.
You see, Emerson was Brazil's captain going into the tournament, but had a bit of a mess about in goal one training session.
And dislocated his shoulder.
And missed the entire tournament.
Which Brazil won.
David James Lands a Fish...and Strains His Shoulder
Phil Cole/Getty Images
"Calamity" James, as he was known early in his career.
The England international won over his critics with a string of outstanding goalkeeping campaigns, but he did manage to pick up one or two bizarre injuries along the way.
James was one of more than a few who have pulled back muscles while reaching for the TV remote, but he also damaged his shoulder while fishing—pulling in a giant carp, apparently.
Alex Stepney Dislocates Jaw...Shouting
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images
Here's Peter Schmeichel, doing what he did best: shouting at Manchester United defenders.
Years before the big Dane with the red nose came along, United had another stopper who bawled at his teammates for fun: Alex Stepney.
Except one game, he went a tad too far—and Stepney dislocated his jaw halfway through shouting at them.
Bryan Robson Damages Toe Trying to Throw Paul Gascoigne off His Bed
Getty Images/Getty Images
Bryan Robson didn't have great luck with injuries.
But after this encounter, perhaps you'd say he didn't help himself.
Just prior to the World Cup in 1990, Robson decided he wanted to rid himself of Gazza, who had been sitting on his bed too long.
Robson lifted up the bed to tip Gascoigne off and dropped the bed on his own toe.
Yes, he missed the finals.
Milan Rapaic and That Entire Boarding Card Fiasco
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Whether it was a jape gone wrong or he just didn't fancy the flight, nobody knows.
All that is for sure is that Milan Rapaic missed the start of the season with his then-club, Hadjuk Split.
There's no real other way to describe what happened other than to simply tell it: He stuck his boarding pass for the flight into his own eye.
Darren Barnard Slips in Puppy Mess, Misses Five Months
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Wales and Barnsley left-back Darren Barnard bought himself a new puppy.
All very cute and cuddly, for sure.
Until, that is, the dog urinated on the floor of Barnard's house—and he walked straight through it, slipping and tearing his knee in the process.
Five months on the slidelines ensued.
Kasey Keller Removes Golf Clubs from Car...and Teeth from Mouth
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Kasey Keller sports a fine set of teeth in this photo.
It's just a shame that he broke them in his mouth on one memorable occasion, as he took his golf clubs out of his car.
What a fitting way to round off this list of bizarre injuries, with yet another goalkeeper exposing the clan for the bewildering bunch of buffoons that they are.