Football

Jan Vertonghen reveals he played with concussion symptoms for nine months at Tottenham

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A blow to the head in the Champions League semi-finals last year left Jan Vertonghen dizzy and suffering from headaches for nine months, and ruined the last season of his contract at Tottenham Hotspur, the Belgium international said.

Centre back Vertonghen, who left Spurs for Benfica on a free transfer in August, was involved in a sickening collision with teammate Toby Alderweireld in the fixture against Ajax Amsterdam.

Vertonghen down on the turf after the collision.

He had concussion symptoms for months, and was left fearing every coming together in training or a match.

“Lots of people don’t know it but I suffered a lot from that hit: dizziness and headaches,” he told Belgium’s Sporza TV on Tuesday.

“This is now the first time I tell about it. 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.”

Vertonghen admits he felt compelled to keep on playing for the sake of his career, even though he knew it was affecting his performance.

“I had only one year of contract left, so I had to play. But when I played, I played badly. Not a lot of people knew about it, that was my own choice.”

Vertonghen’s admission comes weeks after Wolves striker Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull after a collision with David Luiz. Several calls have been made for the implementation of head injury substitution.

©Reuters

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