Colombian defender, Santiago Arias suffered a horrific injury while playing for his country’s national team in a 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Venezuela on Friday, October 9, 2020. The injury is expected to keep him out of football for at least 6 months according to his new club, Bayer Leverkusen.
Based on the visuals that emanated from the match, Santiago Arias got the injury when he carried out a sliding tackle on Venezuelan winger Darwin Machis. Santiago was able to force the ball off the legs of Machis but left with a fractured ankle.
When the Venezuelan player stood up after the tackle and tried to tell the referee that Santiago had the last contact with the ball before it went out of play, he discovered that the ankle of the 28-year-old right-back has shifted to a different direction.
When the winger saw the condition of the defender, he could not hold back his tears as members of both teams rushed to the scene of the incident. Santiago Arias was shown lying on the pitch helplessly crying in pain while the medical team tried to attend to him before they took him off.
As that was happening, the center referee for the Colombia vs Venezuela match, Guillermo Guerrero, who must have been carried away by how horrific the outcome of the tackle was, decided to award a red card to Darwin Machis. The winger was stunned for being red-carded for the incident before the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) came to his rescue. The VAR overturned the decision and allowed the winger to continue until he was substituted in the 78th minute of the match.
The emotional match which took place in Barranquilla, Colombia, ended 3-0 in favor of Colombia despite the loss of the team’s prolific right-back to a horrific injury.
The state of Santiago Arias’ Horrific Injury
Santiago Arias’ horrific injury came at the very wrong time in his football career. The 28-year-old Columbian soccer star just made a season-long loan move from Atletico Madrid to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen this summer.
He has made just one appearance for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. Unfortunately for him, he will now have to spend six months of his season-long loan on the sideline.
Recall that Santiago Arias was a topic of transfer speculation throughout the last summer transfer window. Wolves, Everton and Newcastle United were among the clubs that showed interest in his services and such interest would have continued in the January transfer window. But that might no longer happen due to the current state of his injury.
At this point, that might not bother Santiago; his priority would be to recover from the fractured left fibula and tore ankle ligaments he developed after his tackle on Darwin Machis on Friday.
According to a statement from Leverkusen, Atletico Madrid has agreed to attain to the surgery of the player in Spain. While the German club would oversee his rehabilitation.
Leverkusen sports director Simon Rolfes said: “We are very sorry for this serious injury and it affects us all. Santiago came to us with great ambitions, this is a heavy blow for him.
“Like Atletico Madrid, we will do everything possible to support Santiago in his recovery.
“After the operation, he will be in good hands with us in Leverkusen for his rehabilitation.”
Watch Santiago Arias’ horrific injury below
Horrific injury for Colombia's Santiago Arias as his foot is left pointing outwards in their World Cup qualifier against Venezuela.— Sam Street (@samstreetwrites) October 10, 2020
Darwin Machis, the Venezuela winger who made the challenge, was left in tears.pic.twitter.com/MOVntHAWmu