Dutch winger Arjen Robben’s contention is this summer’s World Cup has been cast into real doubt following Holland’s 6-1 friendly victory over Hungary.
The Bayern Munich player suffered the injury with minutes to play after attempting a back heel which aggravated his thigh. The 26 year old limped off the field of play as his inclusion in Bert van Marwijck’s World Cup squad looks doubtful.
“Arjen will not take the plane (to South Africa) with the team on Saturday night. It makes no sense for him to take the plane now.” said a dejected van Marwijk.
The former Chelsea winger came on as a second half substitute as he made his first appearance in Holland’s World Cup warm up games where a hip injury had ruled him out up until his 40 minute appearance against the Hungarians where he gave a sparkling account of his play.
He will now remain in Holland as he prepares for a scan on Sunday which will determine his fate. The early signs are discouraging for the Dutch and Robin van Persie echoed the mood of the camp.
“I hope he’s OK, because he’s a very important player for us. Everyone is down now.” said the Arsenal man.
As well as this being a huge blow for Holland it is also a blow for the World Cup as a spectacle as another world class player faces the disappointment of missing out on footballs biggest spectacle due to injury.
Captains Rio Ferdinand and Didier Drobga of England and the Ivory Coast suffered serious injuries this week that has ruled out Ferdinand and put Drogba’s participation in real doubt. Ferdinand picked up his injury during England’s first training session at their Rustenburg base following a tackle on fellow compatriot Emile Heskey. Following a scan to his knee it was revealed that the Manchester United centre half will be out for up to 4-6 weeks, effectively ending his World Cup ambitions. Drogba suffered a broken arm during a warm up game against Japan. He faces an anxious wait as the Ivorian medical team assess his situation.
Andrea Pirlo of Italy may also miss the tournament thanks to an injury to his calf. Michael Ballack, Michael Essien, David Beckham, Jon Obi Mikel and Lassan Diarra are all ruled out due to injury.
It is a real shame for this to happen before footballs biggest showpiece. Injuries have played havoc with a number of star players this past month ending their dreams of a World Cup adventure. As disheartening as it is for the players, as too for the fans who will not have the pleasure of seeing household names test their abilities in front of the world.