It seems like the 2010 World Cup is slowly running out of stars. The latest player to join the casualty list is Nigerian international John Mikel Obi. The 23 year old Chelsea midfielder was training with the Nigerian team in Durban, but due to a knee injury he has been forced to pull out. Obi had a minor knee operation only last month and it has not fully healed, so the youngster decided to pull out as he doesn't want to risk his career.
Yesterday was a black Friday with England captain Rio Ferdinand having to pull out due to ligament damage to his left knee, while Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba has broken a bone close to his elbow which could see him miss the tournament and Andrea Pirlo is set to miss Italy's opening game. It looks like the long season in Europe is taking its toll on players.
And is there a curse on Chelsea players and the 2010 World Cup? With the news of the last few days coming in one could think so. Ghana's Michael Essien was the first one to pull out, then Germany captain Michael Ballack had to do the same due to a ligament injury. Didier Drogba could also miss the World Cup and now John Mikel Obi joins this ever growing list. It is really scary.
Chelsea stars like John Terry, Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou and Nicolas Anelka plus the other team mates who will play for their respective countries should look after themselves. But in the case of Essien as well as Obi earlier injuries and operations forced them to skip the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Then footballers are a strange lot, they believe in such things and suddenly it continues to happen.