Top 12 Worst Soccer Injuries of All Time

Top 12 Worst Soccer Injuries of All Time

Are you fed up watching highly-paid soccer players feigning injury and rolling around on the ground? Do you lack a little sympathy when a player appears to be in agony but minutes later is back on his feet chasing after the ball.

While it is sometimes true that a player may be putting in an Oscar-winning performance, there are also times when footballers have a genuine reason to be screaming in agony.

Soccer is a contact sport and injuries are part and parcel of the game. But occasionally, an injury can be so bad that it can make your stomach turn just seeing it. The perpetrators of such injuries can be suspended, charged with assault and even handed suspended prison sentences as you will discover in our list of the 12 worst soccer injuries of all time.

Worst soccer injuries: Ronaldo in Uefa Euro 2016

Inigo Diaz de Cerio

 Real Sociedad v SD Eibar

November 8, 2008

San Sebastian-born striker Inigo Díaz de Cerio took a year to recover from a double fracture inflicted by Eibar goalkeeper Zigor during this fiery Basque derby game.

Henrik Larsson

Lyon v Celtic

October 22, 1999

The images of Larsson’s injury were made to look worse by a dislodged shin pad. Fortunately, the double fracture was not the career-ending injury that it appeared to be and the Swede made a full recovery.

Worst soccer injuries: Larsson celebrate a goal

Alan Smith

Liverpool v Manchester United

February 18, 2006

During this notoriously edgy derby fixture, Alan Smith felt the full force of John Arne Riise’s thunderous free-kick, suffering a broken leg and dislocated ankle in the process. Subsequent claims that Liverpool fans had attacked his departing ambulance were refuted by Smith himself.

Djibril Cisse

Blackburn v Liverpool

October 30, 2004

The unlucky Frenchman suffered a double fracture to his left leg after falling awkwardly in this game at Ewood Park. He made a speedy recovery and featured for the Reds in the Champions League final. Unfortunately, he broke his other leg in a World Cup warm-up match against China just two years later.

Worst soccer injuries: Cisse with France


Birmingham v Arsenal

September 23, 2008

Eduardo’s leg break and ankle dislocation was the result of a late tackle by Birmingham’s Martin Taylor. The injury kept the Brazilian-born Croatian international out for a year but he made a full recovery.

Petr Cech

Reading v Chelsea

October 14, 2006

Petr Cech now wears protective head gear as a result of this knee to the head by Stephen Hunt. The former Blues keeper collapsed after the event and was rushed to hospital for treatment on a fractured skull. He returned just three months later.

Alf Inge Haaland

Manchester United v Manchester City

April 21, 2001

Haaland’s career was ended by Roy Keane’s self-confessed revenge tackle in the Manchester derby. Keane repaid the Norwegian for an earlier injury with this knee-high lunge and picked up a five-game suspension in the process. The aggressive and deliberate nature of Keane’s tackle has caused many pundits to rank this amongst the worst soccer injuries of all time.

Patrick Battiston

France v West Germany

July 8, 1982

Battiston was through on goal in this World Cup semi-final match when he was flattened by German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher. The keeper somehow went unpunished while Battiston left the field in a coma, suffering a broken jaw and damaged vertebrae in the process.

David Busst

Manchester United v Coventry City

April 8, 1996

Busst suffered a double compound fracture after clashing with Denis Irwin. The reaction of United Keeper Peter Schmeichel – who appeared to become nauseous at the scene – revealed the extent of the injury to TV viewers.

Niels Kokmeijer

Go Ahead Eagles v Sparta Rotterdam

December 17, 2004

Kokmeijer was forced to retire after this leg-breaking challenge from Rachid Bouaouzan. In a unique case, Bouaouzan was suspended for the rest of the season and then taken to court and charged with assault. He received a conditional six-month jail sentence.

Brian Oviedo

Stevenage v Everton

January 2014

Everton’s Costa Rican left-back was badly injured while conceding a foul in this FA Cup match against Stevenage. It was confirmed after the game that he had suffered a double fracture to his left leg.

Marcin Wasilewski

Standard Liege v Anderlecht

August 2009

The Polish International was side-lined for 10 months after a horror tackle by Axel Witsel left him with a double fracture. Witsel was eventually banned for eight games and received death threats from fans for his troubles. The pair shook hands three years later when they met in a UEFA Champions League match while Witsel was playing for Zenit St. Petersburg.

Avoiding the worst soccer injuries

Remember, the worst soccer injuries can signal the end of a promising career. Young players should learn to be take responsibility for their actions on the field of play and always respect the values of fair play. This can be achieved by exposing them to the right type of coaching at a young age. Players who learn to respect others and are trained to tackle correctly, are less likely to cause injury to others.

What’s more, young players who are coached in the correct manner before, during and after a session are less likely to suffer from injuries themselves. Modern training programs can even be tailored to suit each player according to theirfitness levels, physical condition and previous injury record.

If you would like your child to receive a high standard of soccer training from professional coaches – we can help. Just click here for more information or call us today on (+34) 902 750 359. You can also contact us via email:

Share this post