Seeing a player getting injured on the pitch is no strange sight in football. As football is a contact sport, injuries are inevitable. Nevertheless, footballers always try to stay away from picking up knocks because of the adverse effects that can have on their careers.
Many world-class players have, over the years, regressed in certain aspects of their game due to injury. Some have even been forced to retire prematurely after picking up serious knocks. However, several elite players have surprised many by maintaining an unbelievable level of fitness over the years.
These are players who have been at the top of the football world for many years and have rarely gotten injured. On that note, here’s a look at five of them:
#5 Robert Lewandowski
The Polish attacker seldom gets injured.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has been one of the deadliest sharpshooters in Europe in the last few years. The Polish forward won the European Golden Shoe last season, and is also a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or award this year.
The secret to Lewandowski’s consistent brilliance in front of goal has to do with his incredible fitness. The 33-year-old has missed just 24 games due to injury over the last eight seasons.
He is still firing on all cylinders for Bayern Munich, having bagged a whopping 13 goals and one assist in ten appearances across competitions so far this term.
#4 Mohamed Salah
The Liverpool forward hasn’t gotten injured since last year.
There are not many attackers who can be compared with Mohamed Salah in his current form at the moment. The Egyptian winger is one of the best players in the world right now.He has made waves with his spectacular performances for Liverpool in the Champions League and Premier League.
The diminutive forward has entered the new season in red-hot form. Salah has bagged a return of nine goals and three assists in nine appearances across competitions. He is topping the Premier League scoring chart, with his six goals helping Liverpool occupy second spot in the league table.
Like the other names on this list, Salah rarely gets injured. The attacker has missed just three games since joining Liverpool four years ago. Between 2012 and 2021, he has missed a total of just ten games.
#3 Thomas Muller
The attacker isn’t one who get injured easily
Bayern Munich’s unsung hero, Thomas Muller, also has an unbelievable injury record. He is one of Europe’s leading superstars when it comes to fitness and consistency. The German international has picked up just seven knocks between 2014 and 2021.
That has seen him miss just 17 matches for the Bavarians across competitions. Thanks to his incredible fitness over the years, Muller has been at the top of his game for club and country over the years.
The attacker has an impressive record of 218 goals and 224 assists to his name in 592 games so far for Bayern Munich. He has also enjoyed a prolific spell with the German national team, bagging 40 goals and 39 assists in 108 games.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury record is out of this world.
Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has maintained an insane fitness level throughout his career.
The Portuguese is in a league of his own when it comes to taking good care of their bodies. He is the epitome of fitness, longevity and excellence for many athletes around the world.
Since July 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo has missed just 61 games due to injury. That is just two months out of 13 years, across spells with clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus.
Despite being 36, the Portuguese is still at the top of his game. He has entered the new season in spectacular form, bagging five goals for United in six appearances across competitions. The attacker is also doing well with his national team, recently making headlines for scoring an impressive hat-trick in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier with Luxembourg.
#1 Lionel Messi
The playmaker has missed just 113 games due to injury in his professional career.
Winning six Ballon d’Or awards is no fluke. You’ll need to be at the top of your game for several years to stand a chance of claiming the coveted accolade even once in your career. To do that on six separate occasions in a sport that features intense competition is mightily impressive.
Lionel Messi’s injury record is mind-blowing. The Argentine has missed 113 games since becoming a professional footballer, according to Transfermarkt. Apart from his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo, there’s no other player in the world right now who can boast such a level of fitness over a long period.
Thanks to his impressive fitness, Messi has been able to dominate the football world over the last two decades, winning numerous titles and individual accolades. He recently made history by leading Argentina to the Copa America 2021 title this summer.