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ACL – Tearing Footballers Apart

Zouma, Owen , ACL Injury, Chelsea, EPL, Manchester United, chelsea
The Chelsea defender has been ruled out for six months and it remains to be seen if Zouma can return his former self.

Injuries have gone onto plague careers of sportsmen across the globe. Be it the basketball side Houston Rocket’s star Yao Ming who could never quite recover from various operations on his left foot or former Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King who was seen as one of the most promising England defenders of his generation. Recurring injuries have encapsulated many from establishing themselves in the field of sport and thus limiting the audience’s experience of appreciating many such talented athletes.

Following a rather unfortunate fall against Manchester United, Kurt Zouma is the latest addition to the list of those affected by ACL injury. The Chelsea defender has been ruled out for six months and it remains to be seen if Zouma can return his former self. WSP looks back at five players who have had to face similar discomforts in their career.

  1. Michael Owen– Arguably one of the deadliest England strikers when in form, Owen wreaked havoc in the opposition defense with the ball at his feet. The Liverpool striker, despite a rather fantastic career, couldn’t quite live up to what many expected from him. Owen, one of the most incredible strikers England have had over years, ruptured his ACL back in 2006 and it started the demise of a career that promised so much more. While Owen did muster moves to Real Madrid and Manchester United in his career, he couldn’t quite establish himself as a mainstay in the side and his impressive career came to an end in 2013.
  2. Alessandro Del Piero– While many will not have fond memories of an ACL injury, Italian legend Del Piero had a whole different side to him after the setback. “How long do I want to play on for? Up to the age of 40. [My physique] changed on November 8, 1998 [Just a day before his 24th birthday, he suffered an ACL tear]. I was out for 12 months, four on crutches. It changed my career and made me a better player. Before it I was a tough guy, fast, technically good, still only on instinct. After I was able to tame it too and am more balanced,” the Juventus legend said. Despite the setback, Del Piero would go on to achieve great heights for both club and country and his recent involvement in the ISL with Delhi Dynamos at the age of 40 was a good enough fact to prove that he has recovered well.
  3. Alan Shearer– Another name in the illustrious list is that of Newcastle legend Allan Shearer. While at Blackburn, the English striker suffered an ACL injury and was out for more than 6 months. But as history has it, that hardly held his career back as Shearer would only go on to achieve from there. Premier League’s leading goal scorer of all time, Shearer went onto become the epitome for the English strikers.
  4. Roberto Baggio– There are only a few who have miraculously recovered from an ACL injury. Italian great Baggio took just 76 days to return, but his swift recovery wasn’t enough to earn him a place in Italy’s 2002 World Cup squad. In Baggio’s case, one could certainly say that the ACL wouldn’t have been career threatening as the Italian was nearing the end of his playing career.
  5. Guiseppe Rossi– One of the most unfortunate names in the list is that of Levante striker Rossi. The Italian, who was deemed a prodigy by many, never quite got to show his worth because of recurring injuries. The former Fiorentina striker suffered an ACL injury very early in his career and failed to recover completely from it. He has switched clubs frequently in search of match time, but sadly we see little of his these days.

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