By KS Leong
Injuries are part and parcel of football. Some are more horrific than others, some have threatened careers of the best players in the world, while others can be brushed off by a magic can of spray.
Then there are those injuries that the elite sportsmen of the beautiful game, those showmen that we adore and idolise who get paid extravagant sums of money, would prefer that the world didn't know about.
Footballers have proven to us time and again that they are not invincible. Away from the roars of the stadium crowds and the glamour of the cameras, they are every bit as human we are, and they too are susceptible to the odd embarrassing domestic affliction.
Here, we look at some of the most bizarre injuries footballers have had the ignominy of suffering, starting with the latest incident involving Valencia midfielder Ever Banega.
|10. Ever Banega - Car (2012)
While filling up his car at a petrol station, Ever forgot to apply the handbrake when he got out, and the vehicle rolled backwards and trapped the player's ankle against the curb, causing a fractured tibia and fibula in his left foot. He has gone under the knife and is expected to be sidelined for up to six months.
|9. David Batty - Toddler's tricycle (1990s)
It didn't help his reputation much either considering that Batty was known for his crunching tackles as a football tough guy.
|8. Cudicini, Seaman, James - Remote control
David James injured himself while catching the remote control someone had thrown to him. If only it were true. But he did pull his back muscle while trying to reach for the clicker, as did David Seaman ... not simultaneously, though. Cudicini, on the other hand, smashed his knee while also at full stretch for the remote.
|7. Santiago Canizares & Dave Beasant - Bottle
Canizares, a four-time Zamora Trophy winner for being the best keeper in La Liga, was ruled out of the 2002 World Cup when dropped a bottle of aftershave on his foot and severed a tendon in his big toe just weeks before the finals in Japan/Korea kicked off. Beasant, meanwhile, who was the first man to save a penalty in an FA Cup final, suffered his foot injury when he let slip a bottle of salad cream. Can't imagine he came under heavy challenge.
|6. David Beckham - Football boot (2003)
In what has become one of the most high-profile off-the-pitch injuries in the game, a furious Sir Alex Ferguson unleashed hell in his Manchester United dressing room following their FA Cup exit to Arsenal. The fiery Scot kicked a boot which caught Becks just above his left eye. Maybe Sir Alex should have been the one out on the field taking free kicks that day.
|5. Ivano Bonetti - Chicken wings (1996)
Italian midfielder Bonetti, who played for the likes of Juventus in the 80s and Sampdoria in the early 90s, was given a rude introduction to British cuisine in his first season of English football with Grimsby Town. Then-manager Brian Laws was so furious with his side's 3-2 defeat to Luton Town that during his post-match rant, he threw a plate of chicken wings at Bonetti, which left him with a fractured cheekbone. Whose dinner it was that was ruined remains a mystery.
|4. Jari Litmanen - Can of Coke (2006)
His former manager at Finland and Fulham Roy Hodgson described him as "the most unluckiest fellow in football". The Finn was standing next to his sporting director at Malmo, who popped open a can of coke and the top flew into Litmanen's eye. In another incident, he was struck on the back of his head from close range by former Fulham reserve keeper Ricardo Batista during a training match.
|3. Rio Ferdinand & Dida - Sitting
Ferdinand, while still at Leeds United in 2001, was lounging at home watching TV with his feet up on the coffee table. When the defender eventually moved his legs a few hours later, he pulled a tendon in his knee. At least he wasn't reaching for the remote.
Dida, meanwhile, suffered back spasms during a league game against Parma in 2008. Sounds legitimate enough. Except, he was sitting on the bench when it happened, and had to be stretchered off while his team-mates laboured to a 0-0 draw.
|2. Paulo Diogo - Wedding ring (2004)
The Servette midfielder had set up an 87th minute goal for Jean Beausejour in a Swiss league game when he ran to celebrate with the supporters by climbing onto the fence. Unbeknownst to him, his wedding ring got caught in the metal wiring and when he pulled away, his finger was ripped off. To add ultimate insult to agonising injury, he was booked by the referee for "time wasting".
|1. Maradona - Dog bite (2010)
Just three months from the start of the 2010 World Cup, Maradona had to pay another visit to the doctors when he got too cute with his pet dog, a Chinese Shar Pei, who bit him in the face. The Argentine legend needed 10 stitches on his lip, but that wasn't enough to stop him from delivering a few classic one-liners during the World Cup.
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