Football’s Worst Injuries: Revisiting Djibril Cissé’s Horror Leg-Break

The Liverpool favourite feared he'd lose his leg after suffering the gruesome injury in 2004.

Djibril Cissé injury
Djibril Cissé The horrific injury Image Getty Images/Paul Barker

Back in the 00s, Cissé was one of the most promising young talents in European football, and when Liverpool snapped him up for £14m in 2004, the common consensus what that the Merseyside club had secured a bargain.

Cissé – a highly-rated 23-year-old from Auxerre – arrived at Anfield after banging in an impressive 70 goals in 128 appearances for the French side, and his future at Liverpool looked bright.

However, despite impressing in his early appearances, and making a big impact with his bizarre hair-styles as much as his footballing ability, his career at the Merseyside club was cut short by not one, but two horrifying injuries.

Only 19 games into his stint at the club, Cisse suffered one of the most horrific leg-breaks of the modern era during a match against Blackburn Rovers on October 30, 2004.

While challenging for the ball with Blackburn defender Jay McEveley, Cissé got his foot caught in the pitch, and snapped his left leg clean in half.

His tibia and fibula were totally broken, and the injury remains just as eye-watering 13 years on as it did at the time.

Speaking about the injury in later years, Cissé revealed that he had feared he’d lose his leg totally after the challenge, and was saved from amputation by the physios present on the day.

He had pins inserted into the leg, and worked hard to recover. Amazingly, while many had predicted that he could be out for 18 months or longer, Cissé actually returned in time for the Champions League quarter final against Juventus just six months later.

To his everlasting credit, Cissé went on to score a penalty in Liverpool’s famous cup final win in Instanbul that May, and endeared himself to the Anfield faithful forever with a crucial goal in their famous victory over West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup final.

Sadly, history repeated itself for Cissé shortly afterwards though, and the player ended up breaking his other leg. Arguably just as horrific as the first time around, the incident took part during a friendly between France and China in Les Bleus final warm-up fixture before the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

During a seemingly minor tussle with an opposition player near the touchline, he went over on his ankle, and… well, watch for yourself below.

Cisse would eventually return to action, albeit not for Liverpool. Returning to France with Marseille in January of 2007. He returned to the Premier League a year later with a loan move to Sunderland, bagging ten goals for the Black Cats in 35 games.

He went on to stints at Lazio and Panathinaikos before eventually joining QPR in their relegation season of 2012-2013, alongside the likes of Christopher Samba and Joey Barton.

After he sealed moves to Qatari club Al-Gharafa, Russian club Kuban Krasnodar, before returning to French football in 2014 with SC Bastia.

He most recently turned out for Saint-Pierroise, but only played one game for the French club before bringing an end to his career in 2015.

A man of surprising talents, Djibril is now a DJ, and he’s decided to focus on his music career after retiring from the game.

Djibril can look back at his career with a great degree of pride. Despite the injury setbacks, the Champions league winner clocked up 41 appearances for France, and is fondly remembered by Liverpool fans everywhere.

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