Former Atletico Madrid and Spain striker Fernando Torres was saved from being a victim of one of the most dangerous injuries in soccer. Any sort of head injury has been proven so fatal that a specific rule for it has been created by FIFA. Referees have been instructed to mandatorily stop play and call on medics if there is a head injury.
Fernando Torres was unconscious and swallowed tongue after challenge. Praise to teammates (some in tears) who reacted so quickly to help him
— Alan Johnson (@AFootballWriter) March 2, 2017
A similar situation had befallen when Torres collided with an opposition player and fell badly. Although at that time, in 2017, the rule to stop play was not prevalent, Torres’ injury looked so horrific that everyone had gathered around him. His former teammates Sime Vrsaljko and Gabi have received plaudits for their quick thinking.
What happened to Fernando Torres?
In March 2017, Torres, 32 years of age at the time, was hit from behind in a clash of heads by Deportivo La Coruna’s Alex Bergantinos in a La Liga match. This happened five minutes from the completion of normal time. Torres hit the ground hard and appeared to have lost consciousness.
In a video of the incident, Vrsaljko and Gabi are seen to arrive immediately on the spot and helped Torres not swallow his tongue. Although, swallowing your tongue has been branded to be a myth. Blockage of the airway when you become unconscious is very real. So, what Torres’ teammates did was still lifesaving.
The mood on the field became very distressing and rightly so. Atletico defender Jose Maria Gimenez was spotted crying. Meanwhile, Deportivo fans gave Torres a standing ovation as he was being carried off the field and to a hospital.
“A cranial and cervical CT scan carried out on Fernando Torres has ruled out that the Rojiblanco striker has suffered any alterations or traumatic injuries,” Atletico said in a statement.
“Our player, who is stable, conscious, and oriented, had to be removed by ambulance after being stabilized according to the usual protocol, before entering the Model Hospital of La Coruna, where he will spend the night in observation.”
The striker made his comeback for Atletico a fortnight later. He played in the 3-1 win against Sevilla.
Where is Torres now?
After retirement from playing, Torres continued life at Atletico. He is now head coach of the Juvenil A (U19) team. The former World Cup winner is now leading a very healthy life and continues to be in good shape.
He regularly uploads posts on social media about fitness and exercise. In his latest posts, he was seen encouraging the Spain national soccer team. The Spanish team had a difficult campaign at the FIFA World Cup 2022.