Sven Bender was a vital part of Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 victory over Napoli in the Champions League, and manager Juergen Klopp has revealed the extent of the injury he played through to make it happen.
The Germany international broke his nose but carried on playing, bloodying so many shirts that the club had to borrow a Bender shirt from the official club shop to allow him to stay on the pitch.
Klopp, quoted by Reuters, said:
It was important that he (Bender) stayed on because of his performance. It was a great game for him and we had to change his bloodied shirt several times. The last one we got from the club shop.
Football's rules state that players cannot stay on the field if they have blood on their kit. As a result, as Bender's nose continued to gush, the shirts had to keep on coming.
Attempts to plug the blood from the nose up with cotton wool were—perhaps unsurprisingly—only partially successful.
Bender's performance was all the more remarkable given he was drafted into the defence. Normally a midfielder, Bender had to drop deeper to cover for a Dortmund injury crisis.
Of course, the irony of all this is that this is just the kind of heroic performance that would normally encourage fans to hit the club shop and buy a Bender shirt—and now there'll be a shortage.
The victory, however, means that Dortmund's Champions League destiny is in their own hands going into the final group game against struggling Marseille.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!