Top-10 Worst Football Injuries Of All-Time

Worst Football Soccer Injuries Of All-Time
Dave Busst's Injury, among the worst football injuries ever. (Photo Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd)

Being one of the most followed sports worldwide, the intensity of football or soccer as the case may be is one many in the world resonates with. As competition in the sport gets tougher, the game becomes more physical, making injury an inevitable occurrence. While many who have suffered heart-wrenching injuries have gone through rehabilitation to return to the pitch, many injuries have forced others out of a seemingly glamorous career. But in certain cases, the worst football injuries have not been the end of an injured player career. In our latest piece of sports facts, we take you through history as we relive some of the most painful, gruesome and worst football injuries of all time.

Here are the top-10 worst football injuries during football matches

10. Kieron Dyer Injury

Kieron Dyer injury
Kieron Dyer injury (Image credit: Sky News / MSN)

Bristol Rovers vs. WestHam, 18 Aug. 2007

An English footballer who was having a good career, Kieron Dyer played for Ipswich Town and Newcastle United, before moving to West Ham United in 2007. Ten days after he made his first appearance for the club, Kieron Dyer suffered an extremely painful injury against the Bristol Rovers in a Carabao Cup match. The injury was so severe that, his right leg broke in two places. 17 months after his injury, the injury continued to plague his career. He later went on to play for Queen Park Rangers and Middleborough, before he retired. In a 2018 article published on the Daily mail tabloid, he said retiring was a relief to him.

9. Gary Mabbutt Injury

Gary Mabbutt injury
Gary Mabbutt injury

Wimbledon vs Tottenham, Nov. 1993

Hailed as a versatile player, Gary Mabbutt who played for Tottenham Hotspurs had one of the most gruesome worst injuries in football, and it didn’t involve his leg but his face. In November 1993, Gary Mabbutt was involved in an aerial tackle with Wimbledon striker, John Fashanu who smashed his elbow into his face. The injury left him with a fractured skull and almost cost his eye. Gary Mabbutt had to undergo surgery for two hours in order to treat his damaged eye socket and a fractured cheekbone. Mabbutt had to wear a plastic mask after a metal plate was inserted under his skin.

8. Bert Trautmann Injury

Bert Trautmann Injury
Bert Trautmann Injury

Manchester City vs Birmingham, 5 May 1956

An exceptional goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann did what was necessary to keep the ball out of his goal. The Manchester City former goalkeeper who played for the club between 1949–1964 was involved in a neck injury in the 1955/56 season. He dived to catch an incoming ball but collided his neck against one of Birmingham players, Peter Murphy. He continued to play for the remainder of the match. But after checking with doctors concerning pains in his neck, an x-ray revealed he had dislocated five vertebra and the second vertebrae cracked in two.

7. Eduardo da Silva Injury

Eduardo da Silva Injury
Eduardo da Silva Injury

Arsenal vs Birmingham, 23 Feb. 2008

Known as Dudu, Eduardo da Silva had an injury in his career that fans will never forget in a hurry. In February 2008, Birmingham player, Martin Taylor, tackled Silva who was playing for Arsenal then, which resulted in Silva’s dislocating his left ankle and a broken left fibula. The tackle was so bad that he had to be taken to the hospital immediately. However, he recovered from the injury and continued playing.

6. Federico Mattiello Injury

Federico Mattiello Injury
Federico Mattiello Injury (Image credit: VENEZIA FILIPPO/EPA)

Chievo vs Roma, 8 Mar. 2015

19 years at the time and on loan to Chievo from Juventus, Federico Mattiello got involved in a tackle in a match against Roma that kept him in a really awful state. After colliding with Roma player, Radja Nainggolan, in an Italian Serie A match on 8 March 2015, he had a fractured leg which required immediate medical attention. He was immediately taken to the hospital.

5. Petr Cech Injury

Petr Cech Injury
Petr Cech Injury. (Image credit: News Group Newspapers via The Sun)

Reading vs Chelsea, 14 Oct. 2006

Famous for his excellent goalkeeping and mask which protects his head and face, the incident that made that mask, an accessory Petr Cech is famous for is one every football fan remembers. In October 2006, in a match against Reading, Petr Cech head collided against one of the Reading players, Stephen Hunt. Cech had to undergo surgery for a depressed skull fracture and it was revealed that the injury nearly cost his life. He recovered from the injury and continued playing but this time with his mask.

4. Luc Nilis Injury

Luc Nilis Injury
Luc Nilis Injury

Aston Villa vs Ipswich, 9 Sep. 2000

Nilis was a really good striker, who played for Aston Villa. Football legend Ronaldo listed him as one of the greatest strikers he loves playing with. But that promising career was cut short when he crashed against Ipswich Town goalkeeper, Richard Wright, in September 2000. The crash left him with two compound fractures in his right shin and it was later speculated that his injury was infected and may have to be amputated. Fortunately, that didn’t happen but that was the end of his career.

3. Juan Arango Injury

Juan Arango Injury
Juan Arango Injury. (Image credit:

RCD Mallorca vs Seville FC, 20 Mar. 2005

A Venezuelan footballer, Juan Arango played for Laliga club, RCD Mallorca. In March 2005, in a match against Seville, Juan collided against Seville player, Javi Bavaro in which his cheekbone broke, he also swallowed his tongue and became unconscious. He recovered to return action, a month after his injury.

2. Patrick Battiston Injury

Patrick Battiston injury
Patrick Battiston injury

France vs West Germany, 8 Jul. 1982

A French footballer, Patrick Battiston is most famous for the 1982 semifinal World Cup which clouded the World Cup. In an aerial tackle, West Germany goalkeeper, Harald Schumacher hip hit Battison. Battison thus fell to the ground unconscious, knocking out his teeth as well as breaking his vertebra in the process. Oxygen was administered on the French man right there on the pitch.

1. Dave Busst Injury

Dave Busst injury
Dave Busst injury. (Image Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd)

Manchester United vs Coventry City, 8 Apr. 1996

An English defender, David Busst’s career came to an abrupt end after an unfortunate incident in April 1996 in a match against Manchester United, while playing for Coventry. Till today, Dave Busst’s injury has been rated as the worst football injury ever. After moving forward following a corner his team won, he collided against Manchester United players, Brian McClair and Denis Irwin. The collision led to a broken tibia and fibula in his right knee. The match was delayed for nine minutes and blood had to be removed from the pitch. His injured tissue contracted MRSA. Busst had a total of 22 surgeries. He retired in 1996 after receiving medical advice.

Bonus: Preston Burpo Injury

Preston Burpo Injury
Preston Burpo Injury. (Image credit:

New England vs New York, Feb. 2010

A goalkeeper for the New England Revolution of the Major League Soccer, his career came to an end in 2010 after he collided against New York Red Bulls player, Dane Richards in a challenge. The challenge left his tibia and fibula snapped. 


There you have it—Our Top-10 Worst Football Injuries Of All-Time. What do you think? Which football injury did you expect on this list? Please share with us in the comment section below.

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