West Ham’s Gianluca Scamacca opens up about playing with a meniscus injury

West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca has given a rather revealing interview about playing through a meniscus injury last season and has opened up about his future.

Scamacca had revealed some weeks ago that he had played for the Hammers despite suffering through a major meniscus problem and the Italian recently opened up about his problems in a chat with Cronache di spogliatoio. Apart from the injury, he also spoke about his mental health worries and his upbringing.

He wrote: “That’s what I was thinking as I stared at the ceiling, I felt like my leg had been cut off. I have always known that I have uncommon talents, as well as that I have traveled a more difficult path than the others. Now I was still, in a bed, frustrated. I couldn’t accept the injury: the first injury of my career. A few weeks ago I had to confess it, I think I did it to protect myself: I was silent for months , but during the last season I played most of the time with a compromised meniscus.

“I was afraid of not coming back as strong as before. I convinced myself in my head that it was nothing. I trained despite the pain, I took medicines so as not to feel bad. Because it killed me to run and feel that the knee that wasn’t there. Literally. With each change of direction, it was like getting punched hard in the mid-leg. I risked a lot, I couldn’t resist because if you take away my football, you take away everything. I can’t find alibis, because I’ve never looked for them. You say ‘f***, this one only scored 8 goals’, but there’s a hidden element of truth that no one can see.”

Scamacca revealed that the injury hit a peak in December, saying: “In December it turned out that I had an external meniscus tear that didn’t allow me to perform. I had intrapatellar edema that had arisen from the meniscus. When I had the operation, they removed a small piece of my body . It went well, but it was a slap in the face because it was the first injury of my life. 

“I couldn’t move, I lived on crutches. It seemed slow to me, slower than the others . But those who go slower have a better chance of observing.”

The Italian revealed that he often replayed the videos of the matches he couldn’t perform well in and he felt frustrated after watching all of it. Further, he revealed that he was often judged as a youngster for his tattoos and blonde hair.

“Ever since I was a boy, people have been talking about me. But if everyone only spoke well of me, it would be a problem. I was judged for tattoos or blonde hair. But this didn’t hold me back. If it had held me back, I wouldn’t be here! I have three passions: soccer, videogames and tattoos, I’ve had them up to my head. I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, I don’t get drunk every night.

“What should I do! It counts when you go on the pitch and if you spit blood. Know this: I haven’t shown my full potential yet. For two years my Instagram has continued to be studded with posts from the transfer market in which I am tagged. For many, I’m an unexpressed talent: I know I still have hidden qualities, but I’m 100% sure whoever gets me gets a bargain . I think I just miss being in the right place at the right time. What will it be? We will only find out by living.”

The West Ham man stated that he is from the ‘streets’ and he sees himself in a lot of rappers, saying: “I’m very hard on myself, very demanding. Ever since I used to play on the street in my neighborhood of Rome . I’m a street guy, born on the street and raised on the street. That’s why I listen to Rondo, Shiva and Capo Plaza. I see myself in their stories, when after training I stopped by the house with my friends to try new skills.”

He went on to express admiration for Francesco Totti and he revealed that he has drawn a lot of inspiration from the character of Vinny Pazienza from the film ‘Bleed for This’. 

“During the injury, when I was in bed, I watched a movie. It’s called ‘Bleed for This’, it tells the story of Vinny Pazienza and his career in boxing that seemed over . An accident had left him almost paralyzed, forcing him to live with a collar-like exoskeleton fixed directly to the bones of his skull. But against all odds, with the help of a former boxer, he begins training to regain his title of world champion . At one point they ask him: «You really can’t give up?». He replies: «I know how to quit. You know what scares me? That would be easy.”

This isn’t the only time when Scamacca has given a revealing interview about himself and the Italian has previously been very vocal about the direction in which the game is heading into, drawing comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic for not just his playing style but also for his personality.





Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN

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