5) Marco Reus
Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus has had hard luck with injuries in recent seasons. Arguably one of the finest players in the world, Reus has become an influential figure for the Black and Yellow. Signed as the upcoming talent by BVB from Gladbach back in 2012, Reus rejected advances from Bayern in order to join his boyhood club and since then has been at the club despite numerous departures. Unfortunately for Reus though, he has yet to appear in a major tournament for Germany since Euro’12. An injury just before the start of the world cup in 2014 halted Reus’ chances of potentially becoming a world cup winner. While his absence wasn’t sorely missed, his presence certainly would have added to the strength of Die Mannschaft. Reus will be wary of another injury with the world cup on the horizon, as he finally looks to make his mark on the grandest stage of all.
4) Santiago Canizares
Before a certain IkerCasillas became Spain’s undisputed no 1, it was another Real Madrid youth product, Santiago Canizares who was the custodian for the national side. Known for his spell with Valencia, with whom he won the La liga title, Canizares had a freakish accident which ended his chances of making it to the world cup. The Spaniard dropped his aftershave bottle that tore his big toe’s tendon. A strong character though, Canizares refused to cite himself as an unlucky person. IkerCasillas replaced him as the no 1 and went on to win several honours.
3) Michael Ballack
The German midfielder is one of the most unfortunate footballers on the planet. Despite having an illustrious career by all means, Ballack failed to get his hands on major titles by margins. A defeat in the World Cup’02, Euro’08 and Champions league final of 2008 were major disappointments for then German skipper, but it got even worse when in the season’s last game, Ballack sustained torn ligaments after a heavy tackle from Kevin Prince Boateng in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth. What was surely going to be his last appearance in a major tournament, Ballack’s hopes of making it to the world cup ended and so did his international career.
How injuries can affect a player’s career can be best understood by RadamelFalcao’s plight. The Colombian was one of the best strikers in the world at the time when he made his move to Monaco, rejecting the likes of Chelsea. At the Principality club, Falcao got off to a fine start before a knee ligament injury ended his season after just 17 games. The Colombian missed the world cup and his career followed a downward spiral thereafter. Last season though, Falcao got back to his vey best with a surfeit of goals. His performance against City in a 5-3 defeat at Etihad was a memorable one.
1) Marco Van Basten
One of the best Dutch footballers of all time, Marco Van Basten made his name despite enjoying a short career. He featured for the likes of Ajax and AC Milan, and was a crucial figure in their success. The striker was known for his clinical nature in front of goal. Moreover his physical attributes allowed him to bully defenders. Unfortunately for him though, his ankles could not keep up with the exertion. At the age of 28, before the 1994 World Cup, Van Basten was forced to retire.