International football just doesn’t have much of an appeal to football fans if it isn’t a major tournament. When the Euros or the World Cup are being played, England fans can get carried away, it’s a much different story when we have to take two weeks off from the Premier League.
It isn’t just fans who seem to have a hatred for the international break. As teams are battling out in the league, a two-week hiatus as players travel around the world can derail momentum. And not to mention the injuries. International break is the time when fans care less about England beating anyone, and more about whether any of their club’s star players walk away unscathed.
We don’t know what it is about international games, but more players tend to return to their club’s with injuries than without.
With the Premier League getting back on track this weekend, we take a look at which teams have been hit worse by the international curse.
Without even featuring for England in their games against Croatia and Spain, Danny Welbeck still managed to sustain a hamstring injury in training. Making him a doubt for their game against Leicester.
Welbeck might not be as much of a miss to Unai Emery as his new centre-back signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who suffered an ankle problem whilst appearing for Greece.
Ryan Fraser has been playing through the pain barrier of a hamstring problem for his club, but in a strange turn of events, his international team didn’t see fit to push him to his limits and instead, sent him home early from the Scotland squad with a doctor’s note.
Germany are having a torrid time at the moment. And when teams are struggling, we often see players push themselves too far. Antonio Rudiger has been nursing a groin strain after two defeats whilst on international duty, but reports suggest he could still feature against United on Saturday. Ethan Ampadu was forced off against Spain with a knee injury but hasn’t really featured much for Chelsea so far anyway and it would have been a surprise to see him play against United anyway.
Klopp jinxed it by denouncing the international break – never speak ill of the international break as a manager, every time a manager does, Sep Blatter appears and hobbles your best players like the scene from ‘Misery’. Well, he has to keep busy somehow.
After claiming that all these internationals will lead to player burn-out, Liverpool have become the hardest hit team. Mane somehow managed to break a thumb, Van Dijk has finally succumbed to his rib injuries after playing with two broken ribs for a few weeks now, Salah limped off with a groin injury after scoring from a corner for Egypt and now Naby Keita is on the injury table with a hamstring injury.
On a positive note, it seems James Milner has superhero healing abilities and is set to return from a hamstring injury to play Huddersfield and could be joined by long-term injury-stricken Adam Lallana.