Tottenham defender Cristian Romero has revealed the club’s medical staff told him it would be “impossible” to feature in the World Cup group stages due to injury – only for Argentina’s medical staff to dismiss the issue entirely. The former Atalanta centre-back was left sweating on his fitness ahead of the tournament in Qatar but he ended up starting all but one of Argentina’s seven matches on their way to glory in Doha.
Romero picked up a hamstring injury at the end of October and feared the issue would wreck his World Cup dream given the tournament was due to start just a few weeks later.
But to his surprise, he was later given the all clear by Argentina’s doctors before starting his nation’s opener which ended in a shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia.
The ordeal does not reflect greatly upon Tottenham’s medical staff, as Romero recalled the chain of events during an interview with TyC Sports.
He said: “When I got injured before the World Cup, the Tottenham doctors told me that it was impossible to play in the group stages.
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“But then I contacted the National Team doctors, showed all the images and they told me not to worry and it was nothing serious.”
Spurs perhaps may have been guilty of trying to protect the player while on the flip side, Argentina were trying to hurry Romero back for the tournament in Qatar.
Romero formed part of Lionel Scaloni’s first XI and even started some matches ahead of Manchester United’s defensive warrior Lisandro Martinez.
The Spurs titan has now won both the Copa America and World Cup at international level, making up for his lack of success at club level where he is still yet to win silverware.
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Incredibly, Romero nearly quit football before he signed for Genoa in Italy as a teenager before later moving to the Premier League.
He previously told Paramount+ in Mexico: “The truth is that I’m very happy at the moment. Just to think that five years ago I was thinking of quitting and stopping playing football and now I’m competing in the best league.
“Being a World Cup Champion for me is the best so I don’t have anything to complain about.”
Romero has been a stalwart of the Antonio Conte era at Tottenham having featured 22 times in all competitions this season in north London.
While he is yet to live up to the sky-high standards he previously set in Serie A where he was named Defender of the Season, he remains integral to Tottenham’s fortunes moving forward.
The Argentine has endured some difficult afternoons and evenings this season but he has not been helped by the likes of Eric Dier and Ben Davies, who have flattered to deceive in the Spurs backline.
There is a sense Tottenham are set to overhaul their defence at the end of the season to bolster their chances of keeping Harry Kane and winning silverware.
Romero remains one of the club’s most popular players amongst the fanbase and there is optimism he can help end Spurs’ 15-year wait for a trophy in the near future.
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