Drogba and Ferdinand's World Cup Exit: First Reactions

A week before the tournament, two top-tiered players are out. What's next?

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For top-class athletes, injuries are a part of the game. But what happens when they come a week before the greatest stage in sports? That's what came to pass today when both England captain, Rio Ferdinand, and Ivory Coast star forward Didier Drogba were felled by opposing players. (The injuries occurred in a pre-tournament practice and a friendly game, respectively.) In addition to outpourings of sympathy and disappointment on Twitter, a few sports bloggers have already opined on the losses. General sentiment: these things happen.

  • World Cup Curse  Mark Meadows at Reuters sees the injuries as an inevitable part of pre-World Cup protocol, noting that soccer players, just coming off of their regular season are tired and overworked. He says, "Footballers are bound to be tired after a long season and tweaks are to be expected, it’s the curse of the World Cup itself coming at the end of the soccer year for many nations. I’m thinking back to a blog I did three years ago about whether professional players are too fit. If they were 10 percent less highly-tuned, their hamstrings and ligaments would not snap so much. But which brave coach would suggest that every team trains a little bit less? Other teams could ignore the idea and have a clear physical advantage, even if the risk of injury is greater."
  • Par for the Course  In a blog post on Yahoo Sports, Richard Wittall sarcastically lays out the "anatomy of a World Cup ending injury." No, not the type of injury, but the regular pattern that the media and fans follow in speculating on the seriousness of the injury and the likelihood of the player coming back. This process ultimately ends in the emerging of a new, young player who goes on to "play for big European clubs, earn millions in transfer fee deals and sponsorships, score thirty goals a season, and then sustain a silly injury ahead of the next World Cup. World turns."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.