Lots of high-profile players have suffered metatarsal injuries during their careers, but some have been affected more seriously than others. It isn’t a particularly serious injury, but it can keep players out of action for lengthy periods and they have plagued some of the best footballers in the world.
Here are some of the most famous instances of the curse of the metatarsal…
- David Beckham, 2002 (recovery time: 7 weeks)
Possible the most famous metatarsal injury of them all, as Beckham became one of the first players to suffer from the problem. A horror tackle from Deportivo La Coruna’s Pedro Duscher resulted in a genuine fear that the Manchester United star was going to miss the World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea two months later.
But after sleeping in oxygen tents wearing surgical boots, Becks made it – and played in all five of England’s game.
He even scored the winning penalty against Argentina, which happened to be Duscher’s place of Birth. Bitter sweet ending.
- Michael Owen, 2005 (recovery time: 17 weeks)
While this one did not happen ahead of a major tournament, Owen’s crack of the fifth metatarsal resulted in later complications. The injury happened on New Year’s Eve of 2005 after colliding with Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson while playing for Newcastle.
In the end, he was out of action for 17 weeks and only played once for Newcastle before the end of the season.
- Wayne Rooney, 2006 (recovery time: 14 weeks)
Another World Cup, and another major injury scare for England, this time is was Rooney. He fractured the fourth metatarsal in his right foot after a clash with Chelsea’s Paulo Ferreira. A can just two days before the squad was announced, revealed that the problem was on the mend and he was included in the squad.
He missed the first group game, but came off the bench in the win over Trinidad and Tobago; however, his tournament came to a disappointing end after he was sent off for stamping on Portugal’s Ricardo Carvalho in the quarter-final.
- Scott Parker, 2006 (recovery time: 34 weeks)
This one gives a worrying estimate on recovery time! Parker broke his second metatarsal in 2004 and was given an estimated recover time of just 8 weeks! But, hitches in the rehabilitation meant that he was sidelined for a whopping 34 weeks.
- Danny Murphy, 2002 (recovery time: 21 weeks)
Murphy was stripped of his dream to play for his country less than two weeks before the World Cup was supposed to start.
With a hefty recovery time as well!
- Neymar, 2018 (recovery time: ongoing)
Even the most expensive player in world football can be struck down by the metatarsal curse, with Paris Saint-German seeing a 222 million euro addition laid low during a Ligue 1 clash with arch-rivals Marseille on February 25, 2018.
Like Beckham and Rooney, Brazil international Neymar suffered an untimely knock with the countdown on to a World Cup finals, with an unfortunately injury riling him out of crucial domestic and Champions League fixtures.
With the World Cup looming, it is imperative that you can do what you can to protect your metatarsal injury! Zock is specifically designed to protect the metatarsal bone. The lightweight, flexible material can be cut to size, and thrown into the washing machine after use!
Grab your pair today and ensure you have a Summer of football/rugby/cricket/hockey ahead of you!