10. David Busst
Sandwiched between Dennis Irwin and Brian McClair, Busst broke his tibia and fibula of the right leg, when playing against Manchester United. The match was delayed for 12 minutes as the blood had to be cleaned up off the grass. It is said that Peter Schmeichel and several other players required therapy and that the Great Dane even vomited on the playing field.
09. Aaron Ramsey
Against Stoke City, Aaron Ramsey was tackled by Ryan Shawcross and ended up with a double fracture on his right leg. It took nine months for this promising youngster to regain fitness – confidence is still in the balance.
08. Abou Diaby
His injury was another in a long list of Arsenal players who suffered similar tackles and broken legs, thanks to some poor tackling. Coming on as a substitute, Diaby was tackled by Bolton’s Paul Robinson, leading to a fracture.
07. Terry Butcher
A blood soaked shirt is a long-standing memory of England’s massive battle against Sweden in a World Cup Qualifier. A massive gash at the centre of his forehead was cut open repeatedly as he used his head to plug on with a pointless plaster on his head.
06. Eduardo Da Silva
A terrible leg injury that ended his career as an Arsenal player, Eduardo was the third Arsenal player to suffer a massive broken leg injury. Birmingham defender Martin Taylor caught Eduardo with a high studs challenge that shattered his left tibia and dislocated the ankle.
05. Gary Mabbutt
Mabbutt has always been one of the nice guys in football and when he became another victim of the rowdy elbow of John Fashanu, no one was surprised. The elbow hit him so hard that Mabbutt broke his cheekbone in four places and his eye socket in three. The injury caused a lot of hue and cry but Fashanu went unpunished.
04. Juan Arango
Arango has always been a skillful player who loves running at defences. Running at the Sevilla defence, Arango came up against the elbow of Javi Navarro. He smashed his cheekbone and swallowed his tongue. Only the timely intervention of other players saved his life out there on the pitch. Arango was back playing within the week but the injury left a mark on his face and in his mind.
03. Bert Trautmann
At the 1956 FA Cup finals, Bret Trautmann dove in at the feet of Peter Murphy and received a massive blow to his neck. After being told by a semi-physio that a half-sponge on the injury wasn’t good enough, Trautmann went on to play the remainder of the game. In those days, substitutions hadn’t still come into the game and after his team won, Trautmann complained of pain later at the celebratory banquet. Apparently, Trautmann had crushed a vertebrae in his neck and was lucky to be alive. Maybe it all came down to the time he spent as a German POW.
02. Henrik Larsson
Broken legs are never good and Henrik Larsson has had two of them. Running down the flank alongside Serge Blanc, Larsson’s left leg simply buckled under his body, breaking the shin bone clearly into two. The sight of Larsson being carried off on a stretcher, with only the shin guard holding his bones together, was a painful sight even for the strong hearted.
01. Patrick Battiston
Despite all the injuries you have read above, this one is far beyond anything else. At the 1982 World Cup, France took on West Germany with Michele Platini playing at his absolute best. A brilliant pass by Platini lifted the ball above the entire West German defence and Harald Schumacher came racing ahead. Battiston played the ball over the keeper and missed the goal, but Schumacher crashed into Battiston’s head as the Frenchman was in the air. Battiston damaged his vertebrae, broke his jaw and lost four teeth. Many feared that he had died, after he fell unconscious on the pitch. But five months later, Battiston did return to the pitch, following that ghastly tackle.