Vertonghen’s head injury comments prove concussion rules need change

The footballing world watched on in horror a couple of weeks back, as Wolves striker Raul Jiminez lay unconscious following a sickening clash of heads with David Luiz.

Jiminez was taken to hospital with a fractured skull, while Luiz was allowed to continue playing despite blood still pouring through his makeshift bandaging.

Luiz was withdrew at half time, though the decision to let him play on was heavily criticised, prompting even more urgent need for reevaluating how head injuries are assessed in football.

Now Jan Vertonghen has revealed that he continued to play matches, despite feeling the effects of a head injury he sustained in a Champions League game against Ajax.

At the end of his Tottenham career, there was an infamous moment where the defender walked off the pitch, sharing no exchange whatsoever with Jose Mourinho, prompting many to believe there had been a falling out.

However, the now-Benfica man has revealed it was simply down to him realising he couldn’t play any longer while still feeling the aftermath of the head injury which came nine months earlier.

“Everybody thought I was angry at Mourinho but at that moment I just couldn’t go on anymore. I had only one year of contract left, so I had to play. But when I played, I played badly,” the Benfica player told Sporza.

“The fact I got benched had nothing to do with him. I was in a period I could not bring what I should have. I even though he played me a lot compared to how I performed.”


“Lots of people don’t know it but I suffered a lot from that hit: dizziness and headaches,

“This is now the first time I speak about it. I should not have continued playing, it affected me in total for nine months and that’s why I couldn’t bring on the field what I wanted to.

“I just didn’t know what to do. It was game after game and training after training. Every time there was a new impact.

“Then the lockdown came and I was able to rest for two months, after that it was a lot better.”

As football authorities face increasing pressure to revisit concussion protocols, Vertonghen’s comments will come as a major concern.

Featured image credit: Getty