Bayern Munich Were On The Cusp Of All German UCL Final, Then Real Madrid Happened | Football News

Two late goals and 14-time European champions Real Madrid dramatically secured their spot in the final of the UEFA Champions League 2023-24. But, until the 88th minute of the game, the football world was getting ready to embrace an all-German title clash in Europe’s most elite club football competition. Bayern Munich had one leg in the final, having led the scoreboard until the 88th minute when Joselu, a former Stoke City, Newcastle United, and Espanyol striker stepped up to pull his team level, thanks to a mistake from Manuel Neuer, one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. A few minutes later, Real Madrid struck again through Joselu, making it 2-1 up, and turning the semi-final clash upside down, just like they have time and again. A repeat of the 2013 Champions League final, between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund was on the cards, but in a matter of minutes, Real Madrid happened.

Gone are the days when Sergio Ramos used to step up in injury time and head home winners for Real Madrid in the Champions League. Los Blancos don’t even have the services of the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo to bank on to produce those clutch moments that got them to 14 Champions League titles, 7 more than the second-placed AC Milan and 8 more than their opponents on the day, Bayern Munich.

Yet, Real Madrid, arguably the most powerful football club in the world, found a way to pull the rabbit out of the hat, with their former youth player Joselu stepping up twice in a matter of minutes to all but seal a spot in the Champions League final for his team. “Real Madrid pulled off a Real Madrid” was to be the headlines in the papers the next day. But, the script had a final twist in store. Well, almost.

Just a minute before the full-time whistle was to be blown, Bayern Munich found themselves in a promising position, with Thomas Muller, Noussair Mazraoui, and Matthijs de Ligt looking to test Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin one last time in the search of an equaliser, but to the surprise of everyone, the linesman raised the offside flag, prompting the referee Szymon Marciniak blew his whistle right before De Ligt could test Lunin with his shot.

What Do The Rules Say?

The Bayern defender did proceed with his plan and found the back of the net, but the goal didn’t count as the referee had blown his whistle. But, was that in accordance with the rules? Well, not really.

As per the latest instructions given to the match officials, assistants are told to keep the flag down on close offsides, and only raise it when a goal is scored or at the end of the attacking move. But that didn’t happen in the game. Bayern players had the right to be angry, and even their head coach Thomas Tuchel went berserk on the sidelines, explaining the same to the match officials. But, to no avail.

The VAR couldn’t be put into use in this specific case as the referee’s whistle was blown, prompting some to suggest that Real Madrid players stopped competing upon hearing that whistle. But, visuals later in the game did suggest that Bayern right-back Mazraoui was marginally onside in that piece of action.

Had the game gone on, Bayern might have scored a legitimate goal and pulled the scores level 1-1. But, the refereeing mistake robbed them of the opportunity to do that.

After the game, De Ligt revealed that the linesman apologised to him for the decision, admitting his mistake. But, not much could be done. A number of Bayern stars, as well as their manager, went on a post-match rant, explaining how the German giants were robbed in a Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, once again.

Thomas Muller:“The referee’s decision was strange. This happens often in Madrid, and it happened to me before with 2 Ronaldo offside goals. No one can explain this.”

“I don’t want to say that Real Madrid always has the referees with them but that made the difference today”.

Matthijs de Ligt:“Real, when you think they are dead, have a last breath… that is why they have 14 Champions Leagues. The linesman told me: sorry, I made a mistake. It’s been a shame.”

“It was a disaster. An absolute disaster and it’s clear violation of the rules”.

Thomas Tuchel:“The clear rule is that the scene must continue. The first mistake was made by the linesman, the second by the referee.”

“This would not have happened on the Real Madrid side.”

Max Eberl, Bayern director:“We were all for a German Final. Everyone except the Polish referees!”

It isn’t the first time that Bayern Munich were at the receiving end of some debatable decisions in a Champions League match against Real Madrid.

Back in 2017, a number of controversial decisions by referee Viktor Kassai seemed to have ‘robbed’ the German side of their chance to make it to the semifinals. The referee’s decision to not book Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro and send off Bayern’s Arturo Vidal worked well in favour of Los Blancos, leaving the Bundesliga giants fuming.

In an interview, former Real Madrid defender Marcelo admitted that the referee failed to give a handball offense against his team in a Champions League semi-final against Bayern. The decision eventually resulted in Bayern’s elimination in 2018.

It wasn’t the first time that Bayern Munich had to fight an ‘uneven battle’ against Real Madrid, it might not be the last.

It all could’ve been an all-German UEFA Champions League final, with Borussia Dortmund already through, but, ‘Real Madrid happened’.

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Cruciate ligament injuries: The recovery process

Football players are under more strain than ever, and the injuries continue to accumulate.

Some are simple strains due to the intensity of the football calendar, but in others there have been season-ending problems, with Barcelona‘s Ansu Fati and Liverpool‘s Virgil Van Dijk among those to suffer ACL injuries in recent years.

Despite improvements in technology aiding the process cruciate ligament injuries are, unfortunately, still too common an injury in football.

Going back a few decades, such an injury could potentially be career-ending, but advances in medicine and surgery means that many players can make a full recovery and, in the main, return to their former range of movement and ability.

But what exactly is a cruciate ligament injury, how does it happen, and what kind of rehabilitation do players face?

How do Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries happen?

You’ll have seen the footage yourself many times. A player’s foot is planted and he or she tries to change direction. The foot remains in the ground and the knee doesn’t travel with the rest of the body.

It’s the ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament, that takes the strain and if the strain is too much, it gives in, in various levels of severity.

Can you walk on a torn ACL?

You’ll often hear commentators also say that ‘it can’t be too bad because he walked off the pitch’. ACL injuries can be walked on by the sufferer – it’s not like a broken bone. The player would be in pain but it is possible to limp off, with the initial swelling subsiding.

It doesn’t in any way provide an indicator of how serious the injury is, however. Players who walk off the pitch usually have ice applied immediately before they can be taken for surgery.

ACL injury surgery options

There are significant differences in the severity of ACL injuries and also different options that are available in order to resolve the issue.

The fantastic Twitter account Injury Mechanisms outlines this and explains the various options available.

1. Autograft v Allograft

The ‘autograft’ method utilises the players’ existing tendon in order to make repairs. It has a low risk rate but generally the surgery time increases the length of the recovery.

The ‘allograft’ users what is known as ‘donor or cadaver’ tissue to fix the problem. Historically it is a less painful procedure for the player but the risk of failure is higher than the autograft method. The cost of the surgery is also higher, though this isn’t not necessarily a concern for top professional clubs.

2. Patella Tendon Graft

This method uses 1/3 of the patella tendon using bone blocks. It has the lowest failure rate of all the procedures and involves bone-to-bone healing. As Injury Mechanisms points out, this is considered the optimum approach for athletes wishing to return to their very best.

3. Hamstring Autograft

The hamstring autograft uses the same method as the original autograft in terms of taking an existing part of the body to assist with the repair. Taking a piece of the hamstring is an easier ‘harvest’ process and requires a smaller incision, but the graft failure rate is historically higher using this method in younger athletes.

It requires longer integration in order to work and takes longer biological healing, and there are also other issues at play such as the graft stretching or the hamstring suffering weakness afterwards.

4. Quadriceps Tendon Autograft

This is the least common method of repairing ACL injuries. It has a predictable graft size and also requires a small incision, but recent studies have shown the failure rate to be higher, hence the reason that it is less commonly used.

Does an ACL injury require surgery?

Not necessarily. Players are increasingly exploring methods by which surgery isn’t required, but it requires an intense consultation and dedication to the methods of repair to work (rest + likely workload post surgery).

For example, athletes who are not pre-disposed to changing direction regularly of pivoting can see more success in this respect. But for footballers, basketball players or specific NFL positions (like wide receivers), surgery is still recommended.

Different severity of ACL injuries

Not all ACL injuries are equally serious and there are various grades to describe the severity of the injury.

Grade 1 means that the ligament has sustained mild damage and and has been overextended but is still mild and the knee joint has remained stable.

Grade 2 means that the ACL has been stretched and has become loose. In this scenario, the ligament has likely suffered a partial tear but it’s rare for this mid-level injury to happen.

Grade 3 is referred to as a complete ligament tear. It means that the ACL has split into two pieces and the knee itself needs to be stabilised. This is the most common serious injury suffered among football players.

What is the expected recovery time?

This is dependent on many factors. Players are usually walking again after two weeks and this leads them into a false sense of security that everything is ok. They need to be very carefully managed through the rehabilitation procedure to ensure that they are not overextending themselves while the ligament continues to heal.

The optimal period of recovery is sixth months but much of the process is in the hands of the player. If they are compliant with the exercises and regimes provided to them then the process can be expedited, but the utmost care has to be taken to ensure that there is no relapse.

There are countless examples of players trying to rush back to finish too soon, and in the most severe cases, it can take a player up to a year to be ready for first-team football once again.



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Cruciate ligament injuries: The recovery process

Football players are under more strain than ever, and the injuries continue to accumulate.

Some are simple strains due to the intensity of the football calendar, but in others there have been season-ending problems, with Barcelona‘s Ansu Fati and Liverpool‘s Virgil Van Dijk among those to suffer ACL injuries in recent years.

Despite improvements in technology aiding the process cruciate ligament injuries are, unfortunately, still too common an injury in football.

Going back a few decades, such an injury could potentially be career-ending, but advances in medicine and surgery means that many players can make a full recovery and, in the main, return to their former range of movement and ability.

But what exactly is a cruciate ligament injury, how does it happen, and what kind of rehabilitation do players face?

How do Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries happen?

You’ll have seen the footage yourself many times. A player’s foot is planted and he or she tries to change direction. The foot remains in the ground and the knee doesn’t travel with the rest of the body.

It’s the ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament, that takes the strain and if the strain is too much, it gives in, in various levels of severity.

Can you walk on a torn ACL?

You’ll often hear commentators also say that ‘it can’t be too bad because he walked off the pitch’. ACL injuries can be walked on by the sufferer – it’s not like a broken bone. The player would be in pain but it is possible to limp off, with the initial swelling subsiding.

It doesn’t in any way provide an indicator of how serious the injury is, however. Players who walk off the pitch usually have ice applied immediately before they can be taken for surgery.

ACL injury surgery options

There are significant differences in the severity of ACL injuries and also different options that are available in order to resolve the issue.

The fantastic Twitter account Injury Mechanisms outlines this and explains the various options available.

1. Autograft v Allograft

The ‘autograft’ method utilises the players’ existing tendon in order to make repairs. It has a low risk rate but generally the surgery time increases the length of the recovery.

The ‘allograft’ users what is known as ‘donor or cadaver’ tissue to fix the problem. Historically it is a less painful procedure for the player but the risk of failure is higher than the autograft method. The cost of the surgery is also higher, though this isn’t not necessarily a concern for top professional clubs.

2. Patella Tendon Graft

This method uses 1/3 of the patella tendon using bone blocks. It has the lowest failure rate of all the procedures and involves bone-to-bone healing. As Injury Mechanisms points out, this is considered the optimum approach for athletes wishing to return to their very best.

3. Hamstring Autograft

The hamstring autograft uses the same method as the original autograft in terms of taking an existing part of the body to assist with the repair. Taking a piece of the hamstring is an easier ‘harvest’ process and requires a smaller incision, but the graft failure rate is historically higher using this method in younger athletes.

It requires longer integration in order to work and takes longer biological healing, and there are also other issues at play such as the graft stretching or the hamstring suffering weakness afterwards.

4. Quadriceps Tendon Autograft

This is the least common method of repairing ACL injuries. It has a predictable graft size and also requires a small incision, but recent studies have shown the failure rate to be higher, hence the reason that it is less commonly used.

Does an ACL injury require surgery?

Not necessarily. Players are increasingly exploring methods by which surgery isn’t required, but it requires an intense consultation and dedication to the methods of repair to work (rest + likely workload post surgery).

For example, athletes who are not pre-disposed to changing direction regularly of pivoting can see more success in this respect. But for footballers, basketball players or specific NFL positions (like wide receivers), surgery is still recommended.

Different severity of ACL injuries

Not all ACL injuries are equally serious and there are various grades to describe the severity of the injury.

Grade 1 means that the ligament has sustained mild damage and and has been overextended but is still mild and the knee joint has remained stable.

Grade 2 means that the ACL has been stretched and has become loose. In this scenario, the ligament has likely suffered a partial tear but it’s rare for this mid-level injury to happen.

Grade 3 is referred to as a complete ligament tear. It means that the ACL has split into two pieces and the knee itself needs to be stabilised. This is the most common serious injury suffered among football players.

What is the expected recovery time?

This is dependent on many factors. Players are usually walking again after two weeks and this leads them into a false sense of security that everything is ok. They need to be very carefully managed through the rehabilitation procedure to ensure that they are not overextending themselves while the ligament continues to heal.

The optimal period of recovery is sixth months but much of the process is in the hands of the player. If they are compliant with the exercises and regimes provided to them then the process can be expedited, but the utmost care has to be taken to ensure that there is no relapse.

There are countless examples of players trying to rush back to finish too soon, and in the most severe cases, it can take a player up to a year to be ready for first-team football once again.



Source link

#Cruciate #ligament #injuries #recovery #process