Aston Villa’s Charles N’Zgobia injured during vacation in Miami

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Quite a big blow reached English Premier League side Aston Villa on Friday afternoon, and probably one they weren’t expecting to hear either.

French winger Charlez N’Zogbia has injured his Achilles tendon whilst on holiday in Miami.

Yeah, you read that right.

I’m sure the details will come out in the coming weeks as to exactly how the injury occurred, but it seems as if N’Zogbia has pushed himself too hard on vacation and has paid the price.

Here is a message to all professional soccer players: Don’t train too hard during your time off! Or something like that…

The 27-year-old attacker was said to be keeping fit in Florida ahead of the start of preseason with Villa, but he injured his Achilles and has gone under the knife in the US. Villa have sent the club’s head of sports and exercise medicine, Roddy MacDonald, to Miami to assist N’Zogbia’s recovered.

Roddy has landed on his feet with that assignment. Anyway, in a statement on Villa’s website, manager Paul Lambert had this to say.

“The priority is to ensure that Charles receives the very best care and he has done and will continue to do so throughout his recovery period,” Lambert said. “It’s a blow for Charles, obviously, but he’ll get his head down and get himself fit again and he’ll have plenty of support in doing so.”

But while we are discussing slightly obscure and bizarre injuries, which ones spring to mind?

Rio Ferdinand once strained a tendon in his knee after relaxing too much and putting his feet up on the table while watching TV. Spanish goalkeeper Santiago Canizares dropped a bottle of aftershave on his foot and missed the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

While current Montreal Impact star Alessandro Nesta once ruptured his left thumb after playing video games on the Playstaion all night long and was out for a month after requiring surgery. And finally, well I could go on all day here but we will end it here, former Barnsley star Darren Barnard slipped in a puddle of his dog’s urine on the kitchen floor and was out for over five months after tearing his knee ligaments.

Have you got any others I’ve missed out? Do share in the comments below. I love these bizarre injury tales.

Anyhow, get well soon, Charles.

Defoe walks out Bradley Lowery, scores in England win

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Jermain Defoe’s friendship with terminally-ill Bradley Lowery has been special to watch unfold, and the Sunderland striker brought his little buddy to Wembley today.

Then he notched a match-winner.

Lowery walked Defoe out onto the field in a replica England kit before Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, and then Defoe scored his 20th goal for country.

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It was his first since 2013, the last year Defoe was called up for the Three Lions.

Here’s the goal, which was followed by a second-half Jamie Vardy tally as England stayed atop Group F with a 2-0 win over Lithuania.

Two Russian soccer fans stabbed in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Two Russian fans have been hospitalized with serious injuries after being stabbed following a friendly soccer match between Red Star Belgrade and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday police were looking for the knife-wielding perpetrators who attacked a group of Lokomotiv fans in downtown Belgrade late Saturday.

Serbian media reports said the Russian fans were attacked by supporters of Red Star’s rival Partizan Belgrade.

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The match, which Red Star won 2-1, was meant to promote Serbia’s traditional friendship with Russia.

Stefanovic says “nobody should think they could hurt the Serbian-Russian friendship” with such attacks.

Serbia has seen a surge of fan violence inside and outside stadiums. In 2009, a French football fan was fatally beaten in Belgrade.

VIDEO: Gerrard’s juggle and finish leads Liverpool legends past Real Madrid

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Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.

The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).

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Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.

Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.

On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).

Ozil bristles at talk of Arsenal selling him

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Mesut Ozil is on international break, and bristling at reports that Arsenal is going to sell him.

The midfielder’s absence from the lineup last week had plenty speculating on his future, even more than usual. His contract expires in 2018, and several reports claimed he’d join Alexis Sanchez as players destined for elsewhere.

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Ozil was not called up by Germany, and has missed four of his last nine Premier League matches. Three of those were for illness, and he missed last week’s loss to West Brom with a hamstring injury.

From Metro:

“And you think Wenger tells the journalist before he tells me? Then I know him differently,” Ozil told German outlet Welt.

“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”

Metro notes that Ozil also said he wants to win the Champions League, something that can only happen with Arsenal remaining in the Top Four. We suppose you could make snarky inferences from his “comfortable in London” phrasing, but we’ll leave it there.