Bastian Schweinsteiger

5 Players who Selflessly Played for Their Clubs Despite Being Injured

The life of a professional football is often scrutinized under a microscope and much of that has to do with the wages they earn.

Even the players who aren't global superstars make bank as compared to the average Joe. 

Perhaps that's one of the reasons why footballers are held to taxingly high standards by the fans. One slip up on social media and they're mercilessly trolled. One misstep in their personal lives and they're crucified publicly.

As a footballer, you need to toe the line and display total, unwavering commitment towards your club. It's almost expected of you.

To be fair to them, there are and have been many footballers over the years who have done exactly that. Be it giving it their all in every match, having a special connection with the fans or in general staying faithful to their clubs - there are footballers who display their devotion to their craft in different ways.

Some of them, though, go above and beyond and perform out of their skins for their respective clubs even through the pain barrier.

Like Marcus Rashford, for instance. The lad took to the pitch in Manchester United's 1-0 FA Cup win over Wolves despite having so much discomfort and pain his his back that he couldn't even sit in the days leading up to the game.

That's the sort of dedication that cements a player's legacy with fans. Thankfully, football has enjoyed a number of these characters over the years.

This here is a list of a few of them.

5. Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger  is surely one of the pre-eminent midfielders of this era and much of that boils down to his ability to control the midfield.

A large portion of it can also be attributed to the son of a gun being downright tough as nails. Never mind playing through that cut beneath his eye in the World Cup finals, the German endured the entirety of the 2012/13 season for Bayern Munich with a busted up ankle.

Only after lifting the Champions League trophy did the man agree to surgery. It's mind boggling enough that he played through the pain barrier at the highest level for a season.

But to also play well enough to win the league and the Champions League? Seesh.

4. Vincent Kompany

The former Manchester City man once soldiered on for Belgium in a World Cup qualifier against Serbia in 2013 after he suffered what many news outlets reported then as a 'nose bleed'.

The defender had collided with Serbian 'keeper Vladimir Stojkovic and it had appeared, taken a blow to the nose.

He recovered after some treatment to control the bleeding and played out the remaining 66 minutes of the match. Many players play through nose bleeds, right?

Only, as it emerged later, Kompany  didn't just suffer a nosebleed. He had a broken nose, a cracked orbital bone and a mild concussion.

How hard do you have to be to decide to continue playing despite your brain activity not being at a 100%?

3. Stuart Pearce

Legendary manager Harry Redknapp once narrated an incident about Stuart Pearce during his playing days at West Ham .

Pearce had broken his leg after a collision with Micah Hyde in a game against Watford and in true English stereotypical 'hardman' fashion, attempted to run off the injury.

Apparently so intent was Pearce to carry on playing that he refused treatment at halftime and didn't remove his boots to get his leg checked.

In fact, he even attempted to run out in the second half. Needless to say, Harry Redknapp stopped him for his own good. 

2. Franz Beckenbauer

The 1974 World Cup semifinal between West Germany and Italy is one of the greatest examples of human resilience in sport.

Influential German captain Franz Beckenbauer  broke his collarbone but with his team having used all three substitutes at that point, he played out the entire match with his arm in a sling.

The match itself went on for 120 minutes, meaning that a visibly pained and distressed Beckenbauer had to endure till the very end to ensure his team didn't have a substantial disadvantage.

Heart-breakingly, that effort from Beckenbauer still would't be enough as West Germany would lose 4-3 to Italy in one of the all time great World Cup matches.

1. Marcus Rashford

The latest entry on this list is Manchester United star Marcus Rashford who has been - for a couple of months now if reports are to be believed - playing for the club with a stress fracture on his back.

Not only has he been playing, he's been doing so spectacularly, having scored 19 goals in 31 appearances for United.

In this current time when the club is lacking depth and quality, Rashford chose to be selfless and play through the pain. How many modern footballers do that?

More importantly, it is a resounding message that the player believes in the club and in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's approach to the job that he decided to sacrifice himself for the team.

And while he recovers now from his injuries, hopefully quickly, he can rest up in the knowledge that his standing in the terraces of Old Trafford has been enhanced for good.