Friday, 4 June 2010

Falling stars at the World Cup: England captain Rio Ferdinand out, Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba highly doubtful

RIO FERDINAND joined the growing list of major names ruled out of the World Cup last night when he was left writhing on the ground with a twisted knee after clashing with controversial striker Emile Heskey.
Ferdinand joins the Ivory Coast's free-scoring Didier Drogba, who broke his arm against in the 2-0 unfriendly win over Japan, German captain Michael Ballack, crocked during Chelsea's FA Cup final triumph, South Africa's top scorer Benni McCarthy, Ghana’s talismanic Michael Essien and of course, England's former captain David Beckham, who ruptured an ankle tendon playing for Milan in January.
Rio's problem first broke after England's first training session at the magnificent Royal Bafokeng Sport Complex. After the cheering news that Manchester City's Gareth Barry joined the session, coach Fabio Capello revealed: "The bad news happened in the last moment of the training. Rio has just gone to hospital.”
Ferdinand, on crutches, was rushed for a scan. Then came the news confirming his elimination from the tournament. Capello said: "It is obviously bad news and everyone with the squad is very disappointed and sorry for Rio."
Last night, England’s odds on winning the World Cup for the first time since 1966 lengthened to 15/2 from 7/1, though older cynics point to Jimmy Greaves’ injury 44 years ago as a sign that such set-backs are not catastrophic.
Tottenham's Michael Dawson will now fly out to replace the Manchester United centre-back, who started just 12 Premier League games this season after severe back problems. Even Tottenham's Ledley King, with his notorious cartilage problems, managed 17.
Ferdinand admitted two months ago: "I was walking like a 60-year-old, this is my worst ever season" but insisted the back trouble had cleared up. But thigh and groin injuries continued to dog him. At 31, he is unlikely to appear in Brazil 2014 but there are those who already feel he is "too involved" with his online magazine and film directing hobbies.
John Terry, stripped of the captaincy, has not been asked to resume duties, official deputy Steven Gerrard gets the armband despite rumoured problems at Liverpool this season. Terry and King are likely to start for England, with West Ham’s Matthew Upson, Liverpool’s out-of-retirement Jamie Carragher and Dawson in reserve at centre-back.
Drogba’s agent, Thierno Seydi, insists the Premier League’s top scorer will could play a role in the tournament. He said: "We all got scared. The fracture is real, but I think any medical decisions have been put on hold I am not a doctor, but it looks like he will have an operation. We'll see, but there is still a chance. But there are no guarantees yet.
"When a player like Drogba says he will play, it is reassuring. In his mind he's still available."
The Ivory Coast FA said: "He was taken urgently to a medical centre in Sion, where X-rays revealed a fracture in the player's right forearm area. Didier Drogba's state of health is the object of all the attention of the Elephants' medical staff and of distinguished specialists.
"The Ivory Coast Football Federation stress that the striker Didier Drogba has not, for the moment, been ruled out of the 2010 World Cup."
But the 32-year-old will need a miraculous recovery to make it. Medical experts suggest a plate or pin in the injury will be dislodged by a heavy fall.
See the horror challenge which may have changed the 2010 World Cup forever:
Who is Neal Collins (nealcol on Twitter): Exclusive video of England's World Cup base:

1 comment:

  1. I know I shouldn't make fun of Drogba's injury but I had to laugh when I saw him LIMP off clutching his broken arm.
    Bad news for Ferdinand, lucky that football isn't his number one priority in life.