Rami Shaaban had made two perfect starts for Arsenal, but a freak training ground accident ended his season and Arsenal career.
Rami Shaaban was a Swedish shot-stopper brought to Arsenal by Arsene Wenger back in 2002.
After getting his break and impressing the scouts, the goalie thought he was about to become the new Gunners’ number one.
However, speaking to Goal he explains how a freak training ground accident with teammate Martin Keown ended his Premier League dream.
“Dennis [Bergkamp] tried to lob me, I went backward and tipped the ball onto the underside of the bar.”
“As I was on the ground, I tried to kick it away with my foot and at the same time Martin tried to clear it, but he cleared my leg instead.”
“There was suddenly this big bang, it sounded like a shin pad had broken or something.”
“It was just a freak accident.”
“I didn’t feel any instant pain and I saw Martin strolling around, so I thought to myself, what was that?”
“Then after a few seconds I started to feel my whole leg go numb, like when you sleep on your arm.”
“I saw my players running to me and I saw their faces, they all went pale because they could see my leg was totally disconnected.”
“My time at Arsenal is up there with the World Cup game I had.”
“The clean sheet on my debut, the Tottenham game, winning in Rome in the Champions League.”
“Those are memories that will be with me my whole life.”
Although Shaaban was a substitute for two more years at Arsenal. He never made another competitive appearance for the club and left at the end of the famous 2004 “Invincibles” season.