Football is one of the most loved sport worldwide and is passionately followed by fans around the globe. Players put in the extra yards and try to perform at their best day in and day out to play for some of the greatest clubs.
Like any other sports football too has injuries which are a part and parcel of the game.
We look at players who had serious medical conditions, yet they have stepped foot on the football field and have delivered a performance like none other.
Edgar Davids – Glaucoma
The Dutch footballing legend had a glorious career in football. having played for big teams like Ajax, Inter Milan, Juventus, Barcelona to name a few He retired at the age of 37 after playing for Premier League side Crystal Palace.
The Dutch player stood out on the football field due to his dreadlocked hair and the protective goggles.
Well, it may seem a common thing to wear glasses on the field but for Davids, it was a way to p[rotect its eye. He started wearing glasses following surgery to his right eye caused by glaucoma – a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.
Davids helped Ajax to three titles and a European Cup, but the goggles arguably helped him and Juventus to three Serie A titles with Marcelo Lippi calling him “one-man engine room”.
Petr Cech – Head injury
The Chelsea legend is among one of the greats shot-stoppers in the Premier League. The Czech Republic international signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2004 and went onto win many trophies with the club.
Inspite of such a glorious career with the Blues it was in 2006, that a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt in the first minute of the game at Madejski Stadium threatened to prematurely end his career in England’s top flight. Cech underwent surgery for a depressed skull fracture and doctors later reported it had almost cost the keeper his life.
The injury kept Cech out for nearly four months, but he returned to play for Chelsea in January sporting a rugby-style head guard.
Eric Abidal – Liver Cancer
French defender Abidal spent most of his career at Barcelona, winning three Ligue 1 titles in his three years with the former and an impressive 15 trophies in Spain, four La Liga titles and two Champions League triumphs among them.
In March 2011, Abidal was diagnosed with a tumor in his liver and had to undergo surgery. The footballing world came together to support him and showed their support, both Lyon and Real Madrid players took to the pitch wearing ‘Get well Abidal’ t-shirts during their round of 16 Champions League match.
And on the weekend of his diagnosis, during Barca’s match with Getafe, fans rattled the stadium with no-stop applause for 22 minutes to reflect Abidal’s jersey number.
After recovering from the tumor he played the full 90 minutes of the Champions League final against Manchester United as they beat Red Devils 3-1 to lift the title. In March 2012, he once again went a liver transplant due to unresolved complications from his previous operation. He retired in 2014 and took on the ambassadorial role with the club.
David de Gea – Myopia
He is undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now. His game awareness and reflexes are something that has evolved over the years while playing for Manchester United.
He cost United almost 19 million back in 2011, and now he is the backbone of the Red Devils side. But do you know that the Spanish Shot-stopper suffered from Myopia in which he can see things clearly at a distance, but has issues with things that are closer.
Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t want to take any chances with the 26-year-old and booked the Spanish goalkeeper for a laser surgery in the summer of 2012. Since then he has gone onto cement his place among some of the great keepers.