Marcelo Receives Red Card After Accidentally Breaking Opponent's Leg, Leaves Pitch In Tears
Argentinos Juniors defender Luciano Sanchez ended up with a broken leg after it was accidentally stomped on by veteran Fluminense left-back Marcelo, as per ESPN. The incident took place in a game in the ongoing Copa Libertadores in Buenos Aires on August 1.
The 29-year-old Sanchez was badly injured after Marcelo unintentionally stepped right on his leg in an attempt to move with the ball at his feet.
The former Real Madrid player received a straight red and left the pitch in tears while Sanchez yelled in pain as concerned players from both sides surrounded him. It happened in the 56th minute. After full-time the scoreline was 1-1.
When the match ended, Marcelo took to the internet to explain how he felt.
"Today, I had to experience a very difficult moment on the pitch. I have inadvertently injured a colleague. I want to wish you the best possible recovery, Luciano Sanchez. I send you all the strength in the world!" Marcelo posted.
Gabriel Avalos gave Argentinos the lead in the 14th minute of what was the first leg of the round-of-16 match. Argentinos then saw keeper Alexis Martin Arias sent off in the 76th minute. Luciano Heredia replaced him on the pitch as a midfielder till the game's conclusion.
Fluminense saw a chance to pull things back and Samuel Xavier's long-range strike drew them level to make it 1-1 in the 87th minute.
They will face off on August 8 at the Maracana Stadium and the winner will enter the quarters. Marcelo will not play due to his red card and of course, Sanchez is out injured for who knows how long.
Footballers are no strangers to injuries and in a sport where players do end up in contact on the pitch they are bound to be nasty injuries. Even by those standards, this was really bad. One player misses a game and another does not know when and if he will return.
It remains to be seen how Sanchez progresses. No doubt Marcelo is distraught because he did not mean to do it. The man will need to put it behind him and move forward.
Another reason why players should avoid making rash challenges to possess the ball or stop an opposition player's run. The best option is to go for conservative tackles to avoid and not cause injury. After all, their's nothing gained by injuring a player or being sent off.