Fernando Gago’s breakdown during Argentina’s latest qualifying phase was sadly all too typical of a promising career blighted by injury
“I don’t care! Let me play!” screamed Fernando Gago.
The pain and frustration of years of injuries etched on the midfielder’s face as he lay on the side of the Bombonera pitch frantically wrapping tape around his own knee.
In the context of Argentina’s goalless draw with Peru, a result that left La Albiceleste on the brink of not qualifying for the World Cup, it was easy for Gago’s injury to get lost amid the panic but for the one-time heir to Fernando Redondo’s crown it was another cruel twist in a career that has seen more than enough of the surgeon’s knife.
Gago last played for Argentina over two years ago in a friendly against Mexico, five days before rupturing his Achilles tendon in a superclásico and since then the 31-year-old has spent the majority of time on the treatment table. There was something triumphant about his return to the national team in the home of his beloved Boca in front of his adoring supporters that made his six-minute appearance all the more heartbreaking.
But there is something sadly fitting that Gago’s Argentina career ends in such a way.
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