By Pete Jaison:
With the FIFA World Cup all set to hit the globe in only a matter of hours, there are many players who will be cursing their luck and crossing their fingers due to the one unexpected happening dreaded in their career - injuries. The injury toll before the World Cup has taken an upward route and has hampered many a team’s chances in the World Cup. There are players who have been completely ruled out of the tournament, players who have a half chance to play at this world cup, and players who are expected to get back in action after missing a couple of games.
Players With No Chance of Playing Due to Injury:
Frank Ribery, France:
One of the biggest names to have appeared on the injury list is of Frank Ribery. A vital player for his national team and probably playing his last World Cup, Ribery sure would have wanted to end his career with a bang. The 31 year old Bayern Munchen star is plagued with a mysterious buttocks injury and has missed out on 2 warm up games. Coach Deschamps might have had planned out his match strategy employing Ribery in a crucial position but it looks like he needs to get his strategies refigured.
Marco Reus, Germany:
This young German sensation playing his first world cup was looking more than eager to impress the world with his amazing football skills. Nicknamed as 'Rolls Reus' by fans and fellow team-mates , many a football expert might have pinned their hopes on him. Known for his sublime attacking run-ins and calm composure, Reus was considered to be Germany's No.1 hope for this year’s cup and this might just be a mighty blow for them. A tear in his ligament has prevented him from taking part in this world cup.
Theo Walcott, England:
The addition of Walcott was well known in advance for the English side but his services in the flanks of the football will be greatly missed by the football world. Going into the tournament as underdogs and as a very young team, England might have just lost one of their most important players. Impressive for his club, Arsenal, this midfielder’s injury has just decreased his country's prospects for even qualifying from the group stages. Known to be a solid shooter and an offensive midfield playmaker, Walcott might be a player Coach Hudgson will truly miss.
Other key players who are totally ruled out of this world cup due to serious injuries include Falcao of Columbia, Ricccardo Montolivo of Italy, and Kevin Strootman of Netherlands.
Players With Doubtful Chance of Playing Due to Injury:
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal:
The biggest name to the injury list is this year's FIFA World Player of the year. Leading his country after a remarkable domestic performance might have inflated his already inflated confidence but an injury might have him supporting his team-mates from the bench. Portugal whose expectations are massively on this season will more than suffer if Ronaldo fails to recover for the tournament. The opening match for the Portuguese are none other than the mighty Germans and Ronaldo's absence will be a major deciding factor in the outcome of the match.
Another one of Portugal's big names suffering from an injury is Real Madrid star, Pepe. Coming after a victorious season which ended in Madrid clinching the UEFA Chamipons League, Pepe will find this injury as a very bitter pill to swallow if he fails to recover in time. Portugal who are already facing an injury scare with the team star Ronaldo in doubt has received another blow as Pepe too might have to sacrifice a few matches to recover. Well known for his strong defensive plays and lion-heart attitude the services of Pepe will be sorely missed . Every single Portuguese football fan will be crossing their fingers and counting the beads to ensure that the star duo of Pepe and Ronaldo will feature in their country's matches.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, England:
This young Gunner will be eager to get back onto the football pitch to let his legs do the talking. England's chances in this world cup will be cut in half if Chamberlain continues to warm the benches due to his injury. Going into the tournament with a less experienced team, Chamberlain might have been one of the few seniors who were expected to back up his team. However a shadow glooms over his comeback as he has failed to recover for his country's warm up games. The English who have disappointed in the last 3 World cups by exiting the tournament from the quarterfinals will have a point or two to prove to their critics but the inclusion of this lad in the injury list has made their job much more tougher . English fans should cross their fingers as the shoes of this man will be very hard to fill.
Other players who are not sure of a recovery include Danny Welbeck of England and Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast.
Players With High Chance of Playing After Recovery:
Diego Costa, Spain:
The Brazilian born Spanish player who has been in red hot form in this year's domestic season has been plagued with injuries and is expected to return just in time for their opening games. Playing in a team studded with stars, the Atletico Madrid striker will be all set and raring to get his boots on to wow the crowds of Brazil. Blessed with the skills of a powerful striker of the ball Costa will be eagerly hoping to carry his form into the tournament. Costa is versatile enough to be a sharp shooting striker but who can also lag back onto the midfield. That is exactly the kind of player who Spain lack and Costa can prove to be very vital in the defending champion's title defence. Don’t be surprised if Costa comes up with sparkling performances this tournament, despite the current injuries.
Luis Suarez, Uruguay:
Branded as the poster boy of modern day football this Liverpool superstar's world cup campaign has been affected with a minor injury but is soon expected to get back in action. Known for his excellent ball control and never say never attitude Suarez is very much considered to be his country's main man and is very instrumental if his team is to put up a solid performance this year. Suarez who has been in good goal scoring form has lifted his country's chances and is expected to give life to his team to rise from the Group of Death. Hated by his rivals and loved by his fans, Suarez played an outstanding role in Uruguay's wonderful run in the World Cup four years ago and a similar performance can be expected from him this time too.