Just as Nike’s newest “Write the Future” ad (about whose awesomeness not enough can be said) begins with Didier Drogba, so do the Ivory Coast’s hopes of making it out of the ‘Group of Death’ in South Africa–a group that includes, Brazil, Portugal, the Ivory Coast, and North Korea.
Unfortunately for the Ivory Coast (and all those excited to see one of the world’s best strikers on the world’s biggest stage), those hopes may have been dashed today, as Drogba suffered a broken arm in a tune-up match against Japan, an injury that, according to the striker, means that “the World Cup is finished.”
Drogba is just the latest of a few high profile players to have suffered an injury that has ended his World Cup bid. Germany’s Michael Ballack (ankle) and Ghana’s Michael Essien (knee), both of whom are teammates of Drogba’s on Chelsea, will also be sidelined during the tournament. And of course, American Charlie Davies (isn’t it nice to be mentioned in this company, Charlie? Ah, the benefits of being talked about by an American.), who was badly injured in a car crash last October, will miss the World Cup as well, having been ruled unfit by his club Sochaux and having thus been left off of USA Coach Bob Bradley’s initial 30 man-roster on May 11th.
For the Ivory Coast, one can only imagine that the reaction to Drogba’s injury will look something like 30 seconds into the Write the Future Ad.
For Brazil, Portugal, and North Korea, probably not so much.
UPDATE: Seriously? This is just getting ridiculous. BBC has reported that England captain and starting center back Rio Ferdinand sustained ligament damage to his knee today in England’s first training session in South Africa, an injury that will sideline him for four to six weeks and thus for the entirety of the World Cup. Who will be the next big name to go down? At this rate, just wait another few hours and you’ll find out.
UPDATE 2: It appears that the Ivory Coast may not be without Didier Drogba after all. Drogba had surgery to repair his broken arm on Saturday, and, according to a statement released by the Ivory Coast:
“He’s not at all out of the World Cup. He can still play. We don’t know if he will be able to play the first game — that depends on the verdict of the medical team. But he’s definitely not out [of the tournament].”