Monday 18 December 2017

Coleman reveals how he almost lost his big toe

Ireland captain Séamus Coleman is still recovering. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland captain Séamus Coleman is still recovering. Photo: Sportsfile

Séamus Coleman has revealed a moment in time when his career hung in the balance because of a blister.

Speaking in an interview done before he broke his leg in the World Cup qualifier against Wales last March, Coleman covered a wide range of topics, including his belief that Wayne Rooney could do a lot worse than finish off his career at Everton.

"Definitely, he's an Evertonian, played for the club with all his heart and obviously went on to have a great career at Manchester United and I think it could be something possible.

"I think it might be a romantic story for him to come back," he said.

Coleman's brush with medical disaster came when he was called in from the Everton reserves in pre-season for a trip to America less than a year into his time there.

Cyrus Christie has filled in. Photo: Sportsfile
Cyrus Christie has filled in. Photo: Sportsfile

After spending much of his summer break in near enough full training so that he would have an edge, a small blister on his foot became a big deal.

"I'd found it hard to go back after the summer at home but I came back wanting to make a statement in pre-season. I'm quite a fit lad so I wanted to come back in good shape and I did.

"I had a blister on my foot and it was a bit sore. I just made the medical team aware that it was a bit sore but it must have been on the flight over there, I don't know, a seven or eight-hour flight, that it became infected because when I got off the plane it was agony.

"It got worse and worse and I remember not being able to sleep which was crazy when you consider that it was just a little blister. I remember getting stuff taken out of it over there but it was still sore.

"I came back here after the trip and had to have a small operation but it wasn't until probably a month, six weeks after that I was told I could have lost my big toe. That would have been the end of that," he said.

Coleman is an antidote to the modern view of professional footballers as offensively wealthy and often offensive too.

For him, it's all about setting standard which he tried to do in Lille wearing the captain's armband on that famous night against Italy.

"I don't mind players making mistakes - I make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes - but having standards is about trying to do the right things, wanting to do the right things.

"All the Irish players are the same: we all do our jobs. We're very lucky like that. You'll not meet any of our squad who don't put a shift in and, to be fair, that night, I didn't have to do anything different.

"I was delighted to get the armband. It meant a lot," said Coleman.

"You do realise that everyone back home is watching and standing in that tunnel before you go out with the captain's armband is a feeling that will never leave me."

Coleman has also sworn off Twitter and did so when he was younger.

"I took a decision. I was young at the time. I thought, 'I know myself if things are going well. The manager will tell me if they are not'.

"I don't need someone telling me online that I am great, or that I am crap. It was a decision I made not to look at it after games, to see what was being said about me on Twitter."

Séamus Coleman appears on the latest episode of An Irishman Abroad - thanks to FAISeasonTickets.ie

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