The Most Injured Players in Football History - Top 10 Injury-Plagued Legends

Discover the most injured football players in history who have had to miss a lot of time from the game because of different injuries that have affected their careers.

by B Kishwar

Updated Mar 26, 2024

The Most Injured Players in Football History - Top 10 Injury-Plagued Legends

The Most Injured Players in Football History

S. No.

Players

Injured Period

1

Holger Badstuber

1305 days

2

Marco Reus

1313 days

3

Ronaldo

1324 days

4

Franck Ribery

1363 days

5

Thomas Vermaelen

1366 days

6

Vincent Kompany

1419 days

7

Jack Wilshere

1470 days

8

Arjen Robben

1507 days

9

Stevan Jovetic

1510 days

10

Abou Diaby

1747 days

Top 10 Most Injured Players in Football History

Football players frequently deal with injuries, which may interfere with their careers and impact their teams' performance. On the other hand, some players have had more injuries than others, which has resulted in prolonged absence.

These ten football players who have had the most injuries in history suffered multiple setbacks, varying from minor sprains to severe ligament damage. These athletes are talented, but they have battled with repeated injuries that have limited their ability to give 100% on the field.

1. Holger Badstuber (1305 days)

German defender Badstuber played for Bayern Munich for eight seasons, although his frequent injuries limited his number of games to about 22 per season. He had a knee ligament injury that kept him out of the 2013–14 season in addition to some ankle and muscular issues.

He eventually decided to stop playing in 2022, when he was 33 years old. He missed 1305 days overall as a result of his injuries.

2. Marco Reus (1313 days)

Marco Reus had to miss the 2016 Euros, the 2022 World Cup, and the 2014 World Cup due to a foot injury. He's continuing to suffer injury problems, but he's still doing well at Borussia Dortmund. Under Edin Terzic's guidance, he has made six goals and three assists this season.

He has dealt with injuries throughout his career, missing 1313 days altogether because of different illnesses.

3. Ronaldo (1324 days)

The famous Brazilian football player Ronaldo missed 1324 days of play due to injuries he suffered during his career. At his peak, known for his extraordinary strength, speed, and skills, he was thought to be unstoppable. But his chance to become the greatest player of all time was put on hold by injuries.

Ronaldo's skill and impact on the game are still clear despite this setback, demonstrating the drive with which he overcame injury setbacks over his amazing career.

4. Franck Ribery (1363 days)

French football player Franck Ribery frequently produced important performances for Bayern Munich, but he also suffered severe physical setbacks that led to 1363 days of missed play. Despite his success on the field, he had 72 various injuries that caused him to miss a sizable number of games 227 in all during his career.

Despite these difficulties, Ribery continues to make a significant contribution to his side, demonstrating his ability to come back from injuries and have an impact whenever he was allowed to play.

5. Thomas Vermaelen (1366 days)

The Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen missed 1366 days of play because of injuries. His career was ruined by injury setbacks following an outstanding first season with Arsenal, where he played 45 games and got selected to the PFA Team of the Season.

He suffered from an Achilles tendon injury in 2010–11 and found it difficult to get back into form. During his four years in Barcelona, he made just 53 appearances due to his ongoing injury problems. Vermaelen's final season with Vissel Kobe saw him retire in 2022.

6. Vincent Kompany (1419 days)

One of England's best defenders, Vincent Kompany, missed 1419 days of play because of injury. Even though he won 12 titles when he was in England, injuries had a big impact on him, especially in his final four years of the league.

Kompany's career was hindered by setbacks despite his outstanding achievements on the field.

7. Jack Wilshere (1470 days)

Talented Gunners player Jack Wilshere missed 1470 days of play because of injuries. Though regarded as a generational possibility, his potential was hindered by a history of injuries. At the age of 19, Wilshere suffered a serious ankle injury that would trouble him for the rest of his career.

He underwent multiple surgeries and therapy, but his injuries did not go away. Wilshere eventually retired in 2022 at the age of 30, having missed a considerable amount of time playing because of injuries.

8. Arjen Robben (1507 days)

Known for his amazing Bayern Munich performances with Ribery, Arjen Robben missed 1507 days of action because of injury. Even though they had a great combination, they often had time on the field together interrupted by injuries.

Mostly due to injury setbacks, Robben only averaged 20 league appearances per season while he was in Germany. Despite this, his influence lasted because of his extraordinary skill and talent, which allowed him to make a difference immediately even if he didn't play for a long time.

9. Stevan Jovetic (1510 days)

Stevan Jovetic had several injuries during his career, including two ACL injuries, which kept him out of play for 1510 days. His time in the Premier League with Manchester City is sometimes forgotten despite his talent because of his string of injuries.

From 2017 to 2021, he missed more than 150 matches for both club and country while playing for Monaco. Jovetic still plays for Olympiacos in spite of his continuous struggles, as he has not yet fully recovered from the recurrent illnesses that have kept his career.

10. Abou Diaby (1747 days)

Abou Diaby had to endure a terrible journey while out of action for 1747 days because of injuries. At Arsenal, injuries stopped him from reaching his full potential. He missed an incredible 314 games over his career, which illustrates the seriousness of his injury issues.

Diaby suffered injuries for about 4.7 years, and his talent went unnoticed by repeated setbacks. Despite a player's obvious skill and potential, his narrative serves as a sad reminder of the impact injuries can have on a player's career.

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