Based solely on his performances during the opening weeks of the current season, you couldn’t tell that Luke Shaw spent almost the entire 2015-16 campaign on the sidelines with a horrific leg break.
The Manchester United left-back suffered a double fracture of his right leg during last season’s Champions League group stage match against PSV Eindhoven at the Philips Stadion but, following a lengthy recovery process, is now back in action and already back to his best.
Shaw has now spoken about the incident in a revealing interview with the Guardian - and admitted he’s still annoyed with UEFA about one of the decisions they took on that ill-fated night last September.
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Hector Moreno, despite his challenge on Shaw, was controversially handed the Man of the Match award from European football’s governing body after the match.
The Mexican defender had scored on the stroke of half-time to make it 1-1, before Luciano Narsingh headed in the winner for PSV in the second half.
Shaw explains why UEFA annoyed him
“To be fair to him, he did come to say sorry,” Shaw told the Guardian while discussing Moreno. “He came to the hospital and I saw him face to face in my room. I was quite sympathetic at the time – ‘Aah, look, you can come in, it’s fine’ – but at the end of the day it was me lying there with a broken leg, and I went through so many bad times since then I did start thinking about it some more.
“It really annoys me they [Uefa] gave him man-of-the-match.
“Some people were saying it was a good challenge, others were saying it was a bad challenge. For me, it’s a bad challenge.”
Shaw doubted if he'd ever recover
Shaw also admits there were times when he doubted if he’d ever be able to make a full recovery.
“I remember I said I didn’t know if I was going to play again. I didn’t properly think that, but it did go through my head a couple of times at the start,” the England international added.
“Now, I don’t like looking at the video any more because I’ve probably watched it enough. But I can look at the pictures. Even now, I think: ‘Oh my God.’ I’ve shown a few of the lads. They don’t like them either and I can remember, on the night, Memphis [Depay] turning his head away because he didn’t want to look.
“I was in shock, to be honest. The pain came later. I was just so upset because I knew I was going to be out for so long. You might have seen the picture where I had a tear coming down my face. They took me back to the dressing room and it was weird because at the start it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would have. I remember getting my phone, texting my mum and tweeting everyone. It sounds mad, I know, but my leg was broken and I didn’t know what to do. I thought: ‘I’ve got to do something.’
“Then, that night, lying in hospital, I swear to God the pain was something else. Oh God, the worst you could ever imagine. My mum was next to me and I remember saying to her: ‘They have to do something because I actually can’t keep going with this amount of pain.’ They had to open up my leg to pull out all the clotted-up blood. They put me to sleep, but it didn’t stop the pain when I woke up again.”
Thankfully, Shaw has made a complete recovery and has already re-established himself as the Red Devils’ first-choice left-back.
Were UEFA wrong to hand Hector Moreno the Man of the Match award? Have your say by leaving a comment below.