World Cup Themes: Blood, Sweat, Sunglasses & Cotton Swabs
If you look in the stands at any 2010 World Cup game you’ll see a lot of fans wearing those gigantic oversized sunglasses on their heads, seems to be a common accessory for the World Cup in South Africa.
But if you're watching a game, you might notice another common theme, players running around with medical cotton in their mouths.
I don't think I've ever seen this in a soccer game. Of course, it's normal for players to exit games if they're bleeding and referees forcing them to change their jerseys if there’s blood on them, but a cotton swab in the mouth? That's new.
And it's common to see players playing with white head bandages from time to time, nothing like Terry Butcher, but sometimes in a similar way. The ball of cotton in the mouth? I don't know...
So far, for some reason, perhaps due to their bravery or desire to win, Uruguay has had the most players joining the cotton club, or those players that continue to play but with a big wad of medical cotton in their mouths. And it seems like it might be hard to play with so much cotton in your mouth, and difficult to breathe, too.
Gerard Pique of Spain
Spain's Gerard Pique was injured during a match against Honduras, taking a shot to the mouth, but he also took a cleat to the head in Spain's match with Switzerland, and so has both the cotton ball in this mouth and a bandage on the side of his head.
Diego Perez of Uruguay
Perez needed to get a new shirt, stiches, and a head bandage after a collision with Mexico's Andres Guardado. They decided to go with the blue bandage instead of the white. I guess to match the Uruguayan blue.
Avraam Papadopoulos of Greece
Greece's defender Avraam Papadopoulos holds medical cotton in his mouth after being injured in the match versus Argentina. I guess he sort of liked it, as he grabbed an extra bunch. I wonder if he thought is was cotton candy.
Luis Suarez of Uruguay
Luis Suarez was injured during a match against South Africa. He wasn't going to let a little blood in his mouth stop him from playing.
Clint Dempsey of the United States
Dempsey has had a tremendous 2010 World Cup tournament so far. He's been lucky (see England goal) and then very unlucky at teams (see offsides call versus Algeria), but he's persevered and fought on even when taking an elbow to the face. Don't know why he didn't get some cotton though? He should be mad, as everyone else got some.
John Pantsil of Ghana
Pantsil gets some assistance after a collusion with an Australia player. No blood no glory. Or is it no guts no glory. Usually if you have one you have the other. Ghana are the only African country who remain in the 2010 World Cup.
Sergio Ramos of Spain
Ramos took a boot to the head during the clash against Paraguay, but he got right back into the game after having his head wrapped.
Thomas Mueller of Germany
The injury to Mueller happened prior to the World Cup, and was when he was riding a moutain bike in a pre-World Cup training session, but still, with all the cuts on his face he deserved to join the others on this page.