Javier Mascherano's performance in the World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands was the stuff of legend, the type of thing that a player dreams of pulling off on the biggest stage. Except for one injury that he picked up...
The pain of that injury was evident on his face after he made the tackle, and as team-mates came to congratulate him, he had one hand firmly placed at the source of the pain: his backside.
In the mix zone after the game, Mascherano admitted that "without wanting to be rude", he "tore his anus" as he stretched to rob Robben of the chance that may well have sent his team packing from the tournament.
You can listen to the audio (in Spanish) right here if you fancy it, where the question is posed to him at the 3:30 mark about how he managed to pull off the tackle. He humbly admits that Robben's extra touch gave him a chance to make the tackle, but that anyone would have done what he did.
The internet didn't think so, as his heroic performance has become the stuff of legend online, garnering hundreds of memes, in particular involving Chuck Norris and how Mascherano was the one man Chuck truly fears.
— Alejandro Moreyra (@amoreyra) July 10, 2014
All that aside, there was also grave concern for Mascherano, who had a clash of heads earlier in the game and appeared to be concussed, but was not taken off the field. There has been plenty of backlash for FIFA over this, as earlier in the tournament Ã?lvarr Pereira also seemed to suffer a head injury and was allowed to play on. The long term effects of such injuries have become a point of major concern for other contact sports such as Americna football and rugby, and many are now questioning when football will sit up and take notice of such dangers also
Via SB Nation