5 Football careers ruined due to injury

Injuries are a footballer's worst nightmare. Injuries can make or break a player's career. The showstoppers, the superstars, become common players due to injuries. Look at some players whose careers were derailed due to injuries.

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere. Football Career ruined by injury
Jack Wilshere (Credit - SkySports)

Wilshere came through the Gunners' academy before really bursting onto the scene in the 2010-11 season. He was pegged as a wonder boy due to his abilities. He made an amazing performance against Barcelona when they were at the top of the game in a 2-1 win against them. He made a total of 49 appearances. He picked up the PFA young player award and was selected for the PFA team of the year.

His injury struggles began immediately after that season, as he missed the entire 2011-12 season due to a stress fracture in his ankle. Though he returned to play regularly between 2012 and 2015, the injury bug was not far behind. A hairline fracture, another ankle injury, and a broken fibula saw his career derailed, and he was loaned off to Bournemouth.

Mario Gotze

Mario Gotze. Footballers career ruined by an injury.
Mario Gotze (Credit - SkySports)

When he scored the solo goal against recently crowned World Cup winners Argentina in the 2014 World Cup, Gotze was pegged to be the successor of the "Ronaldo-Messi" era. He was a star for Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund, striking up a partnership with Marco Reus. It saw him move on to the Yellow Submarine, where he scored ten goals in his debut. Gotze was in the program for three years but faced criticism near the end due to concerns about his fitness and commitment. He headed back to Dortmund to find his spark.

Gotze was diagnosed with myopathy, which made him more fatigued and contributed to his weight gain. He would miss time recovering from it, and his impact diminished to just 10 goals in his final two seasons combined.

He tried his hand with PSV, where he found his form in 2020, becoming a regular for the Dutch title chasers. It earned him a move back to Germany to play for Frankfurt.

Dean Ashton 

Dean Ashton.
Dean Ashton (Credit - Eurosport)

While almost all of the careers on this list are still going strong, Ashton’s never really took off at the top level. He started his career with Crewe Alexandra, scoring 16 goals across all competitions in the 2002-03 season to secure promotion to the Championship. Ashton continued his fine form, netting 40 times over the next two campaigns before leaving for Norwich City.

However, the Canaries suffered relegation in Ashton’s debut season, which allowed Premier League clubs to chase him. West Ham United was the lucky beneficiaries, signing him in January 2006.

He would score six times as the Hammers made the FA Cup final, but the good times came to a screeching halt. Ashton broke his ankle while on national duty in August of that year, which led to him missing the whole season.

Though he returned for the following season and scored 10 times in the league, Ashton retired in December 2009 after spraining his ankle that year. He was just 26 back then, and one of the most promising careers ended way too early.

Alexandre Pato

Alexandre Pato
Alexandre Pato (Credit - ESPN)

Brazilians and their flair remain unmatched. Pato was one of the most exciting talents of his generation, winning the Club World Cup in 2006 before moving to Milan. Nine goals in his first 18 appearances indicated a striker who took to Serie A like a duck to water.

Pato won the Golden Boy award and Serie A Young Player of the Year in 2009 with 18 goals across all competitions. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got as Pato injured his hamstring towards the end of the 2009-10 season.

He would aggravate the injury two more times in less than a year, missing almost four months in total. Pato picked up a thigh injury in January 2012, missing the rest of the season after scoring only once.

He left for Corinth, but the pressure was intense to deliver quickly, and Pato wilted, taking criticism from supporters. A loan to Sao Paulo did not work out, but worse was to follow during his one-year stay with Chelsea, where he made only two appearances.

Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge.
Daniel Sturridge (Credit - SkySports)

The famous Liverpool-Sturridge partnership that almost fired them to league glory in 2014 had Sturridge scoring 25 times across all competitions. The former Chelsea and Champions League-winning striker was a darling of the English media and supporters, but that was as good as it got.

The next season saw him miss a huge chunk of games due to hip, thigh, and calf injuries. It would only get worse with knee and hamstring injuries during the 2015-16 season.

Sturridge left for West Brom on loan in January 2018 but suffered another hamstring injury in just his third match. Sturridge won the Champions League again but was let go by the club a few days later.


Cover Credit - SkySports

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