Xabi Alonso suffered horrific injury before Spain's 2010 World Cup semi-final

Xabi Alonso was key to Spain’s first ever World Cup triumph in 2010.

The Liverpool and Real Madrid legend started every single game at the tournament out in South Africa and dropped some wonderful performances.

One of Alonso’s best displays at the 2010 World Cup came against Germany in the semi-finals, a match he very nearly missed after suffering a horrific knee injury on the day.

According to a recent report from Spanish publication AS, Alonso was left with a huge cut on his knee courtesy of a shard of glass that came from his shower door in the hotel, which had come off its hinge and smashed.

The injury apparently occurred just “ten minutes” before La Roja were due to leave for their semi-final against Germany.

Spain's XI vs Germany at 2010 World Cup
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 07: The Spain team line up ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Semi Final match between Germany and Spain at Durban Stadium on July 7, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Alonso reveals extent of injury he suffered before 2010 World Cup semi-final

“Blood always shocks, but in this case what shocked me was seeing my knee with a cut from side to side from which the fat attached to the skin and the muscle tissue exposed,” Alonso told AS.

“The only pain was internal. Goodbye to the semifinal and the World Cup final. I couldn’t believe it. The panic attack and anguish that I suffered surely prevented me from bursting into tears.”

Straight after he suffered the horrendous injury, Alonso called Spain’s team doctor, Dr. Juan Jose Garcia Cota.

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‘It was like a scene from Psycho’

“When I enter the room, I find Xabi pale and shaken, almost in shock,” Dr Cota said.

“He had covered his knee with a towel to open the door for me. He was drenched in blood, the bathroom looked like the shower scene from Psycho. It was totally a crime scene.

“He only managed to tell me imploringly: ‘Doctor, for God’s sake, do what you want but I have to play.’ I still retain his words in my head.”

Xabi Alonso & Jerome Boateng in action
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 07: Jerome Boateng of Germany and Xabi Alonso of Spain battle for the ball during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Semi Final match between Germany and Spain at Durban Stadium on July 7, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

Dr Cota’s dilemma

Spain’s team doctor then had to decide whether he would inform manager Vicente Del Bosque, or try and patch up Alonso so that he could play against Germany.

“My head told me that it was impossible for Xabi to play and that he had to inform the coach. It was a fight between the head and the heart. 

“I had many doubts about whether to tell Vicente [Del Bosque] what had happened and I still have them. I don’t know if I did the right thing, but I went with the wounded one. Let’s say that Xabi’s gaze won out over reason.”

Xabi Alonso celebrates victory over Germany
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 07: Xabi Alonso of Spain celebrates victory and a place in the final during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Semi Final match between Germany and Spain at Durban Stadium on July 7, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

So, Alonso was patched up by Dr Cota and went on play 93 minutes in Spain’s 1-0 victory over Germany, Barcelona icon Carles Puyol netting the only goal of the game.

Four days later, Alonso played 87 minutes in the final against Holland, a match in which he was infamously karate-kicked in the chest by Nigel de Jong.

Poor ol’ Xabi was left with some serious battle scars after the 2010 World Cup, but getting to hold the trophy at the end of the campaign no doubt eased the pain.

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