8 Soccer Players Who Were Able to Bounce Back From Career-Threatening Injuries

Our favorite sport, apart from showing us incredible matches, has often made us witness incredible recoveries by players, who despite having suffered a serious injury, have managed to return to the field, sometimes even stronger than before. Let’s take a look at the 8 most incredible comebacks in soccer history.

Radamel Falcao

After his injury with Monaco, the Colombian went on loan to Manchester United and Chelsea in the Premier League without ever having the luck or the ability to be as decisive as in the past. But Radamel didn’t give up and, once back at Monaco, proved to the world that he was back to his great levels. A player who seemed lost after his injury in 2014 showed that with commitment and tenacity he was able to return to his former levels.

Thiago Alcantara

Class to spare, but a career riddled with injuries. The Spaniard suffered a partial rupture of the collateral ligament in his right knee against Hoffenheim on 29 March 2014 and had to undergo surgery. In May of the same year, he relapsed again and had to go back under the knife. The operation made him miss the World Cup in Brazil. Today the former Barça player is back on the field and fighting with the Liverpool jersey.

Alessandro Del Piero

Among those who have been able to put behind a shocking injury is also this former Juventus captain, who on an autumn afternoon lived a watershed episode of his career. After perhaps the best year ever, the Juventus captain saw his right knee shatter in November 1998. After eight months off, his recovery was longer than expected, but his fans, teammates, and the club waited for him, and was rewarded with a long series of legendary years.

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

Two Ballon d’Or awards, three FIFA World Players, and in the FIFA list of the best footballers alive, various triumphs in soccer leagues and competitions. Important recognition of a career that speaks for itself. Ronaldo was a spectacle when he took the field, he was one of those players who was able to push fans to keep enjoying soccer.

However, on 21 November 1999, at the beginning of his third season at Inter, his negative period began. The Brazilian forward injured the patellar tendon of his right knee and only returned on 12 April 2000. It was the first leg of the Coppa Italia final against Lazio. He was injured again after just 6 minutes of play, and this time the patellar tendon he had previously injured ruptured completely. He was operated on in Paris and remained in the box for more than a year.

Eight years later another serious injury. After landing at AC Milan, he ruptured the patellar tendon of his left knee in a league match against Livorno and was again operated on. His contract with the Rossoneri expired at the end of the season and he continued his recovery with Flamengo, returning to the pitch after 13 months with Corinthians.

Petr Cech

The goalkeeper with the helmet in 2019 put an end to his mythological career. But the greatest satisfaction at the time of his farewell was that he was able to independently choose the moment to say goodbye. A fact that is far from obvious thinking about the scene of October 2006, when Stephen Hunt’s killer intervention during Chelsea-Reading put at risk the survival of Cech, who arrived at the hospital with his head open and in a sea of blood.

The miracle succeeded and to complete it Peter added a lot of willpower as well as class. Maybe we didn’t see anymore the best Cech but first, he won two Champions finals, and then, after the long parenthesis at Chelsea, he set the historical record of clean sheets with Arsenal.

Henrik Larsson

The Swedish striker has had a lot to chew on before and after the incident. The image of that shocking injury he suffered at Celtic in 1999 against Lyon went around the world and seemed to have ended his career, but Henrik surprised everyone, starting then his real career: almost 150 goals in 4 years in Glasgow earned him worldwide fame and the move to Barcelona, where he played little, but enough to lift the 2006 Champions League as a protagonist.

Francesco Totti

The serious injury suffered in February 2006 against Empoli and the shocking dynamic of the tibia fracture are etched in the minds of all Italian fans as well as the race not to miss the World Cup, then won by Italy thanks also to the significant contribution given by Francesco. After his farewell to the Azzurri, Totti reserved the best of his career for the Roma shirt, achieving a record sequence of consecutive victories, the title of a top scorer with 26 goals in 2007, including the Golden Shoe, and always performing at the top until his retirement.

Roy Keane

It is impossible to separate the career of United’s historic captain from that of his rival Haland. Between 1997 and 2000 two of the ugliest pages of the recent history were written, when first the Norwegian of Leeds broke the ligaments of the knee of the Irishman of the Red Devils because of a shocking foul.

After that, he invited the adversary to get up, but then Keane, not the most docile of players, carried out the revenge. Apart from the horrific repartee, it is worth noting here that the United warrior certainly did not surrender to the fate that could have affected his career at only 26 years of age. After almost 8 months of rest, Keane returned as a new player to the heart of the Manchester midfield.

As we have seen, some of these players are still active. Watching a live soccer match is now possible thanks to various websites, so thanks to technology we have various ways of watching our favorites, including team and player stats, especially for those who are returning to the field after serious injuries.

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