Ex-Barcelona star Aleix Vidal looks to have paid the price to wearing cardboard instead of shinpads during Espanyol’s La Liga draw against Real Betis on Sunday – having been left with a bone-exposing cut.
The 32 year-old can play in either a right or left-wing role and even got to score the first goal in the 2-2 draw.
Vidal was forced to quit after 81 minutes, after realizing that his bone had been exposed under his socks. The close-up showed paper showing where other people would wear rubber or plastic.
Spanish media described the injury as a minor one to the tibia. However, Vidal, a former Spain international, did not take part in the victory over Alaves on Wednesday.
Vidal is said to have received 15 stitches by the previous report from Diari de Tarragona, despite him wanting to continue playing after the injury was discovered.
In recent seasons, there has been an increase in players who have worn almost no shinpads. Dominic Calvert-Lewin joked that his own shinpads were like custard creams.
Jack Grealish is another player that prefers a smaller design. He also wears his socks very low for fixtures at Aston Villa, England, and Manchester City.
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In an interview with GQ he said: “People have suggested a lot of different reasons as to why I wear them like that.
“It began during one season when I was 15 or 16 and the socks in training kept shrinking. They had to be worn underneath my calves, and I played really well that season.
“So I ended up keeping them like that and to this day I’ve still got them. My shin pads are kids size, seven to eight, so that’s why they’re so small.”
According to the IFAB Laws of the Game 2021-22, shinguards must “provide reasonable protection” and be covered by the socks, while also being made of a “suitable material”.
This would exclude actual custard creams. However, stars seem to be willing to bend the rules in order to have more freedom than protection for their shins.
If Vidal’s injury and stitches, as well as Vidal’s current time on the sidelines, are any indications then we might see larger designs in future matchweeks.