Collision in La Liga has positive ending
Deportivo midfielder Alex Bergantinos had his eye on the ball as it flew through the air during Thursday’s 1-1 draw with visiting Atletico Madrid in Spanish league play. So did his opponent Fernando Torres. What neither of the two counted on was the other’s head.
The collision, which earned Bergantinos a yellow card, sent a wave of panic through the stadium as Torres fell face down onto the pitch, presumably unconscious.
“[It] was such a hard knock. I heard a crack from the dugout,” Atletico Manager Diego Simeone later said of the accident. “I didn’t know if it was the neck.”
The players on the pitch also had no idea. They rushed to Torres’s aid. Some attempted to pry his mouth open to make sure he hadn’t swallowed his tongue. Others waved frantically for medical personnel, who rushed onto the field and took Torres away on a stretcher.
The 32-year-old ended up in the hospital, where doctors later delivered him relatively good news in that Torres did not suffer a broken neck or any other paralyzing damage. Instead, he suffered what Atletico Madrid described in a statement Friday as a “strong blow to the head.”
The statement followed up a tweet Torres sent late Thursday night in which he thanked “all for worrying about me and for your messages of support.”
“It’s just been a scare,” he added. “I hope to come back very soon.”
Among those who worried about Torres was the man who accidentally delivered the blow. After insisting there was no malice in his header, Bergantinos visited his opponent in the hospital.
“He told me to be calm and that these things happen,” Bergantinos told Spain’s Cope radio late Thursday.
Bergantinos added that Torres didn’t remember “anything about the collision” but that he remained “calm and even smiling.”
Torres was released from the hospital Friday. Excerpted from washingtonpost.com/earlylead