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The 10 Most Horrific Leg Injuries in Soccer History

Dan Fitch takes you through the top 10 most horrific leg injuries in Football. It isn't for the faint hearted.

These days soccer is played at a breakneck pace and the highly tuned participants are always in danger of injury. Whilst players are always at risk of injuries to the head or upper body, it is the legs that take the bulk of the punishment.

Here are the top 10 most horrific leg injuries in soccer history.

10. When you sign a player that's notoriously injury prone, you can have little complaint when they're out of action. Still, West Ham's manager Alan Curbishley could be forgiven for feeling a little aggravated when new signing Kieron Dyer broke his leg in 2 places in only his second game for the club.

Over a year later, Dyer has still yet to play again for West Ham.

9. Sometimes injuries can be picked up in the most seemingly innocent of circumstances. Manchester United's Alan Smith managed to break his leg and dislocate his ankle whilst merely attempting to block a free kick.

As Smith blocked the free kick with his left foot, his ankle twisted underneath him. Smith commented "When I looked down, the leg was lying one way and my ankle was pointing towards Hong Kong, so I knew I was in serious trouble."

8. Celtic legend Henrik Larsson was out of the game for 8 months, after breaking his leg in two places having caught his studs in the turf.

Larsson returned as good as ever and at the age of 37, is still playing for Helsingborg and the Swedish national team.

7. Djibril Cisse had been at Liverpool for just 3 months when he broke his leg against Blackburn Rovers in 2004.

The French international appeared to catch his foot in the turf as he chased the ball, breaking his shin in two places. His tibia had to be pinned back together and Cisse claimed that if it were not for the prompt attention of Liverpool's medics, he would have lost his leg.

The striker made a miraculous recovery from the injury and was back playing before the end of the season.

6. The German midfielder Ewald Lienen suffered an injury in 1981 which proves that it's not just broken bones that can be horrific.

A sliding tackle from a Werder Bremen defender slices open Lienen's thigh, to reveal the tissue and bone of the player's leg.

So incensed was Lienen that he hobbled over to the Bremen bench and shouted "Happy now?"

5. Richard Pryor once remarked that the moment that you really panic when you're on fire, is when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror.

The same is true of sporting injuries. Sometimes it's only when you look down that you realise how much your injury actually hurt.

This is the case here, when the Danish striker Jacob Olesen dislocated his ankle to such an extent that his foot points in entirely the wrong direction. Oleson made a full recovery and now plays for Viborg FF.

4. Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva suffered a broken left fibula and dislocation of his left ankle, after a clumsy challenge from Birmingham City's Martin Taylor.

Eduardo was treated for 8 minutes on the pitch, before being taken to hospital where suregery took place.

The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said claimed Taylor should never play football again.

It was feared that Eduardo's career may be over, but it now looks like his recovery is imminent.

3. Djibril Cisse is a really unlucky man. Cisse broke his leg for a second time in 2006 when on international duty for France, missing the World Cup.

Cisse was knocked off balance by a defender and as he fell, his right leg twisted underneath him, breaking above the ankle. This resulted in an open fracture of the tibia, though happily he made a full recovery and now plays for Sunderland.

Of all the images of soccer injuries, this may be the most disturbing.

2. The Belgian striker Luc Nilis' Aston Villa career got off to a great start when he scored this great goal against Chelsea, but in only his third match for the Villians, Nilis suffered a double fracture of his right leg after a collision with the Ipswich goalkeeper Richard Wright.

Nilis retired just four months after the incident and is now a coach at his former club PSV Eindhoven.

Notice how Richard Wright looks in considerably more pain than Nilis, despite it not being his leg that is bent in half.

1. When you think of horrific soccer injuries, the immediate name that springs to mind is David Busst.

In 1996, the Coventry City defender was injured in a match against Manchester United, resulting in compound fractures of his tibia and fibula.

It took 12 minutes for the blood to be cleared off the Old Trafford surface and the scenes caused the legendary United keeper Peter Schmeichel to vomit on the pitch.

Whilst in the hospital, Busst contracted MRSA which caused further damage to the muscle and tissue in his injured leg.

Busst had a total of 26 operations, more in an effort to prevent amputation than because of any realistic notion that he might play again.

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30 October 2008

Oddly Enough

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