If you want to know why most managers absolutely hate the international break, look no further than this list.
We don’t know why players so often seem to get injured when they depart their clubs to play for their countries, but time and time it’s happened to some of the best players in Europe.
And now, with the introduction of the new UEFA Nations League competition, set to resume this week, players have more opportunity than ever to return to their clubs with a fresh injury that will have their managers tearing out their hair in frustration.
“The boys, unfortunately, go away again now and have to play Nations Cup games – the most senseless competition in the world of football,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp moaned last week, making his feelings on the new tournament absolutely clear.
The following examples of international break injuries are all from just the last three years (!):
Sergio Aguero and David Silva
During the international break back in April 2015, Manchester City were dealt a double blow by losing both Sergio Aguero and David Silva to injury after they turned out for Argentina and Spain respectively.
FC Bayern München had to make do without attacking playmaker Mario Gotze for 12 weeks after he injured his groin in Germany’s shock loss to Republic of Ireland back in April 2015.
David Luiz and Kevin Trapp
During the same break, Paris Saint-German also received a double whammy, losing both David Luiz and Kevin Trapp after they picked up injuries while on duty with Brazil and Germany.
In Trapp’s case, the lay-off lasted for a whopping six months.
Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte might still be regretting the hamstring injury suffered by midfielder N’Golo Kante almost exactly 12 months ago while the midfielder was on duty with France.
Conte lost the influential player for six crunch matches, which contributed to the defending Premier League champions’ disappointing follow-up season under the Italian boss.
Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba
Spare a thought for Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, who lost both Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba in 2015.
Morata was initially thought to have fractured his leg but luckily for him and Juve, the problem did not turn out to be as serious as that.
You have to wonder how Arsene Wenger – still Arsenal manager at the time – felt after losing Shkodran Mustafi for an extended spell last year due to a hamstring injury suffered during the October international break.
The match Mustafi simply had to play in? A 5-1 win for Germany over Azerbaijan.
Karim Benzema scored twice for France against Armenia three years ago but was then forced to leave the pitch minutes before the full-time whistle with a hamstring injury.
To add insult to injury, the problem may have been caused by Antoine Griezmann jumping on Benzema’s back during a goal celebration.