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5 footballers who lost their pace due to injuries

Pace was one of their greatest weapons before their careers were derailed

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 16 Jul 2015, 01:45 IST
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Many players have struggled to reclaim their pace and form after an injuryAcceleration and sprint speed typically make up the definition of ‘pace’ in football, and this attribute can be absolutely deadly in open play if used well.There have been plenty of players who have gotten by fairly well without it, but as seen throughout football history, most of the best players in the world have had pace in their locker in addition to other attributes. Managers expect their defenders to be quicker these days, which shows the impact such players have made on this game.The players discussed on this list are top talents who have played for the best European clubs in the world and used pace as one of the main weapons of their game. However, these players have somehow seen their careers derailed due to the impact of recurring injuries on their pace, and have struggled to reclaim their form ever since.

#1 Michael Owen

Michael Owen had searing pace and a good finish

Former England international Michael Owen was a prolific force in front of goal, but it was his searing pace that helped him go about his business. Despite having a fantastic career with the England National Team, he could never fulfill his potential at the club level due to his struggle with several niggling injuries throughout his career.

He started off his footballing journey at Liverpool and was well on his way to becoming a club legend. His eight-year spell at the club propelled him to new highs and he managed to score 118 goals from 216 league appearances, picking up a Ballon d’Or in 2001 in the process. 

Real Madrid came calling and purchased the forward in 2004, but the Englishman lasted only a year at the Santiago Bernabeu, following which Newcastle picked him up for a club-record fee of £16.8m. He made only 71 league appearances in an unhappy four-year spell for the Tyneside club.

In England, he picked up multiple injuries including several muscle injuries and sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, which kept him out for an entire year. He then went on to complete a couple of seasons as a bit-part player at United, before ending his career at Stoke City in 2013.

The long-term injuries he had picked up at an early age were detrimental to his speed, which was his chief attribute. Running in behind defences was his main threat, but the injuries made him lose the aura about him that put fear into the opposition defenders. 

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