In several months time, as the leaves start to fall off the trees and England winds down national celebrations after winning the World Cup, we’ll all still be talking about Loris Karius and what happened against Real Madrid.
Incidents during the match were the topic of much English discussion in the days following, but apart from the entire world wishing Mohamed Salah the best of health, the rest wasn’t really strongly covered.
That all changed when Massachusetts General Hospital published a diagnosis of concussion to Loris Karius, something which was stated as happening during the match and presented as a potential reason for the goalkeeper’s two mistakes.
Whatever the reason for publication, and the hospital said it was ‘in an effort to prevent, where possible, the dissemination of incomplete or erroneous information’ after ‘numerous calls’ were received, it hasn’t gone down universally well.
Whilst some are understandably using the whole situation as a platform to build arguments for better concussion awareness in football, others clearly don’t buy the whole thing.
On Wednesday, Marca, who had been letting the vilification of Sergio Ramos slide, had clearly had enough. It was stated Real Madrid have ‘coexisted as best they can in what they consider to be a campaign to discredit the impressive successes of recent years’, with the ‘Karius case and his concussion during the final being the final straw’.
At Madrid they believe it was an ‘image clean-up’ and ‘isn’t even medically accurate’.
AS, another Spanish newspaper, published an article detailing all the links between Liverpool and the Boston hospital, with the suggestion being something isn’t right.
On Thursday, the latter newspaper covers the situation again, with two articles on what happened with Karius. Firstly, they have stills of the match and insist Virgil van Dijk pushed Ramos and that’s how he ended up colliding with Karius, and then they have a column from a doctor.
Dr Jose Gonzalez is a regular in the newspaper. Whenever a player suffers an injury he gives his view and explanation of what happened and presents a prognosis.
His Thursday column is titled: ‘Karius: an absurd justification’
Gonzalez certainly isn’t afraid to question the US hospital and says their press release was ‘surprising’, adding ‘Even sports doctors blush when reading the statement’.
To make his opinion absolutely clear, Gonzalez goes on to say: ‘If they want to come out in defence of the player, it seems good, but not based on absurd medical criteria. After the alleged concussion he made two good saves, which clearly indicates that he had intact reflexes and there was no sign of concussion.
‘It was simply a child’s sporting failure, which completely conditioned his subsequent actions. In the first goal of Bale he made a normal sports gesture of a great goalkeeper, but failed to touch the ball. Reacted well and on time, but failed to avoid the goal. And in the second he was psychologically shattered. For me, as a sports doctor with many years of experience in this type of incident, all the symptoms referred to by Karius were psychosomatic, due to a failure of a beginner in a sporting event at the highest level.’
Doctors disagreeing isn’t a great development, but there’s more opinion from Italy.
Prof. Franco Benech, a Turin neurosurgeon who has worked with Juventus, is quoted by ANSA (Italy’s press association) as saying: “To certify a concussion there must also have been a small loss of consciousness, and then, I exclude that some doctors would have left a sportsman on the pitch under such conditions. It is not conceivable, concussive events cause a stretching of the fibres and a consequent loss of consciousness. It happened also to Juventus, with Nedved in a match against Real: immediately left the pitch.”
Meanwhile, Bild report Karius has been on Bora Bora island in the South Pacific, where hopefully he isn’t reading the European media.