Who makes our top 10 famous sports injuries list?
Along with the glory, fame and wealth of playing sport at the very top level comes the risk of injury.
While those at the top of their game in 2018 are extremely fit, the fierceness and intensity of professional sports means that injuries remain a major hazard.
We look back on some of the most famous sporting injuries of all time. New and old, from Premier League to NHL and beyond…
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1. Neymar (Football, 2018)
Brazilian star Neymar hasn’t had much luck as far as the World Cup is concerned. The Paris-Saint Germain ace broke a bone in his back during Brazil’s 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia in 2014.
And he could be set to miss the 2018 tournament in Russia after fracturing his metatarsal in a Ligue 1 victory over Marseille in February.
The 26-year-old is said to be out for six to eight weeks as he begins the road to recovery.
With the World Cup looming, the five-time champions will be hoping their star man is back in time for their opening match against Switzerland.
2. Rory McIlroy (Golf, 2015)
Sports stars always say that retaining a title is much harder than winning their first.
But after landing The Open Championship in 2014, Rory McIlroy would have been confident of justifying his status as tournament favourite a year later in 2015.
The Northern Irishman was world number one at the time. Yet he was unable to defend his crown after rupturing an ankle ligament playing football with friends.
McIlroy missed the Open and returned with a 17th place finish in the PGA Championship.
He won just two titles the following year but began 2018 with a resounding victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He’s the second-favourite for this year’s US Open.
Check out the latest tips and more for this year’s US Open with our golf news.
3. David Beckham (Football, 2002)
The dreaded metatarsal injury has been the bane of England fans time and time again.
Beckham’s was the first, and arguably hampered the Three Lions’ hopes of World Cup 2002 glory.
Becks sustained the injury on Champions League duty with Manchester United just weeks before the showpiece in Japan and South Korea, and while he was fit enough to feature, he was below his best at the tournament.
This was the first time Three Lions supporters were praying for a metatarsal to fix in time…it wouldn’t be the last. They’ll be praying there’s no repeat for the current squad at World Cup 2018.
4. Glenn McGrath (Cricket 2005)
Cricketers are notorious for picking up avoidable injuries in pre-match warm-up routines.
So it is perhaps no surprise that Australia bowler Glenn McGrath sustained a grade two tear to his ankle ligaments while playing touch rugby before the second Ashes Test in 2005.
The Aussie pace bowler stepped on a stray cricket ball while participating in the warm-up game. He was plagued by injury problems throughout the series and eventually missed the second and fourth tests.
England won both and clinched the series 2-1. Many people attribute the tourists’ defeat to McGrath’s avoidable injury.
5. Brian O’Driscoll (Rugby Union, 2005)
The 2005 British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand kicked off in fiery fashion, with one of the most controversial challenges in Rugby Union history.
Just a minute into the first Test, Kiwis pair Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu produced a brutal spear tackle on O’Driscoll, dislocating his shoulder – though it could have been far worse.
This incident put a wedge between the two sides, with the row over this challenge going to an independent commissioner.
In 2017, the referee on the day – Joel Jutge – admitted he should have red carded at least one of the pair.
6. Petr Cech (Football, 2006)
It was just 16 seconds into Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Reading in October 2006, when the Czech goalkeeper suffered a depressed fracture of the skull.
The Blues stopper slid to collect the ball from onrushing striker Stephen Hunt, only for the Reading man’s boot to slam against Cech’s head.
It could have been a fatal injury, and the then-24-year-old needed two loose pieces of skull replaced by metal plates.
Incredibly, he returned to football three months later – going on to win two further Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League.
Fortunately for the keeper, he’s still playing and will be hoping to lead Arsenal to Europa League glory this term.
7. Anderson Silva (UFC, 2013)
In a sport as raw and gritty as UFC, injuries are more or less a given.
But the one suffered by Silva in 2013 still managed to shock the UFC world, going down as one of the worst sports injuries of the modern era.
One of the greatest fighters of all time, Silva was up against Chris Weidman – who had upset the odds to beat him earlier in the year.
In the rematch, Silva aimed a second-round kick at Weidman, only for the latter to check it with a knee block.
The collision saw the Brazilian’s fibula and tibia shatter. He returned in mid-2014, but fitness issues and scandal meant he never truly recovered.
8. Patrick Battiston (Football, 1982)
If nothing else, this was surely the worst football foul never to actually be given as one.
The scene was a fiercely contested World Cup 1982 semi-final in Spain between West Germany and France.
With the scores tied at 1-1, French striker Battiston raced into the German box, only to be wiped out with a brutal challenge by keeper Harald Schumacher.
Despite the French defender suffering three cracked ribs, a damaged vertebrae and losing a handful of teeth, referee Charles Corver waved away appeals for a penalty.
That contributed to the status of this as one of the most iconic sporting injuries ever.
9. Clint Malarchuk (NHL, 1989)
Any ice hockey player expects to take a few big hits during their career. But nothing can prepare them for the kind of freak injury the Buffalo Sabres goaltender endured in March 1989.
A horrific clash saw Steve Tuttle of St Louis Blues crash into the goal crease, with his skate blade catching Malarchuk’s neck, and severing an artery.
Incredibly, the Sabres’ athletic trainer, Jim Pizzutelli, sprung into action to help save the 27-year-old’s life.
Against all odds, he returned to the sport, playing for San Diego Gulls and later Las Vegas Thunder. A positive conclusion to a terrifying ordeal.
10. Bert Trautmann (Football, 1956)
It’s fair to say that Trautmann’s injury – sustained in the 1956 FA Cup Final at Wembley – came before the modern concerns of Health and Safety!
With 15 minutes remaining, Manchester City were 3-1 ahead against Birmingham City. But disaster struck when goalie Trautmann collided with an oncoming striker, breaking his neck.
However, with the injury initially undiagnosed and substitutes not yet part of the sport, the German keeper just played on!
Against all logic, he somehow pulled off a couple of excellent late saves to give the Citizens the win. He remains a cult hero at the club to this day.