Raphaël Varane warns of the risks linked to concussions in football

Raphaël Varane warns of the risks linked to concussions in football

Concussions don’t just threaten rugby players or boxers. In an interview with the daily l’Equipe, world champion Raphaël Varane warns of the dangers of these injuries which are seen more and more in football, without being sufficiently taken into account.

A sprain or tear are common injuries for a footballer. We think less often about impacts to the head, which are nevertheless common during impact or head blows. The fear of being seen as weak? This is the opinion of 2018 world champion Raphaël Varane who warns of the dangers linked to this injury in daily life The team. A rare voice.

“I wasn’t going to miss a quarter-final because I was a little tired”

The athlete talks about his own experience. Following a collision with the ball against Nigeria (2-0) in the round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup, the defender felt unwell. “If someone had spoken to me at that time, I don’t even know if I would have been able to answer. I don’t remember the match after that shock.”

However, if he mentions his condition, the question of continuing or resting does not arise: “I wasn’t going to miss a World Cup quarter-final because I was a little tired. We are in a very competitive environment, in which not playing because of a little pain can go badly.”

Today, with hindsight, the athlete understands that the system does not protect him or the thousands of amateur footballers in Europe or elsewhere, without better prevention.

“It’s a real health issue, it can even be vital. Things are changing little by little, but we can still progress in this area” admits the champion.

Footballers subjected to an accumulation of micro-traumas

Dr. Gérald Kierzek emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens recalls that a concussion means that the brain will hit against the skull during an impact.

We usually think of boxing or rugby when we talk about concussions and head impacts. However, as Raphael Varane says, footballers are subject to micro trauma throughout their career. What’s annoying in athletes is these repeated sub-concussive traumas.”

An accumulation which can cause not only post-concussion syndromes (headaches, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, sensitivity to light, balance problems, etc.) but also be involved in the arrival of neurodegenerative diseases.

Can Raphaël Varane’s alert change mentalities in football? This is what he wants when giving his testimony. If a concussion protocol has indeed existed in Ligue 1 since 2022, it only seems to concern major shocks. And does not come into play among amateur club footballers.

“This raises a lot of questions: What to do in the face of this real danger? Wear a helmet or not? Change practice in sport, in care?… In the interest of the players, answers must be provided” concludes our expert.