Asensio isn’t the first footballer to miss out on first-team action for a bizarre reason, and considering the frequency of these events, the Spanish international won’t be the last.
Here’s a look at six others who have been ruled inactive for occurrences of the outlandish:
Guillermo Varela (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Manchester United loanee Varela was suspended by Eintracht Frankfurt after a tattoo became inflamed and he was forced to miss the 2016-17 DFB Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund. “His behaviour was reckless and hurts the team,” Eintracht Frankfurt sporting executive Fredi Bobic said about the ink stink. “Guillermo’s path at Eintracht ends here. The club can’t put up with a player acting against the coach’s and doctors’ instructions.”
Adil Rami (Valencia)
Excused by Valencia to return to former side Lille for a fundraiser, centre-back Rami made his way back to the Mestalla Stadium days later in a bit of rug-cutting bother. Instead of resting a pesky foot concern, Rami performed a bang-on rendition of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and re-aggravated the injury booking a visit with the treatment table and Los Che infamy.
Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United)
Former Manchester United and current Borussia Dortmund attacking mid Kagawa‘s time at Old Trafford hardly went to plan, and the Japanese international did little to help his cause when he opted to go back for seconds in 2013. Set to feature against Newcastle, Kagawa was ill, with Red Devils’ gaffer David Moyes offering “It was a bad sickness. He thinks he ate too much, and he had to get his stomach pumped, but I think he is okay.”
Jari Litmanen (Fulham)
Finland‘s all-time leading scorer and cap earner, Litmanen’s Fulham spell didn’t quite go to plan with nary a single first-team appearance, and luck was not on the second striker’s side. While with the Cottagers, Litmanen was the victim of a lacerated cornea after a ring-pull on a can of Coke went airborne and struck him in the eye. Seems Kim Mitchell was wrong when he said “Might as well go for a soda/Nobody hurts and nobody cries,” on 1984’s “Go For a Soda.”
Chic Brodie (Brentford)
While this one took place on the pitch – and left an unenviable lasting impression – former Brentford shot-stopper Brodie’s unfortunate run-in with a pitch invader merits a place on this list. During a match against Colchester United at Layer Road in 1970, Brodie was charged by a dog, suffering a shattered kneecap. “The dog might have been small,” Brodie said, “but it happened to be solid.” Dogged or not, the injury would prove to be career-ending for Brodie.
Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan)
“I was surprised when my injury was linked with my passion for video games,” AC Milan legend Nesta said in 2005, echoing a sentiment previously unheard. And for good reason, as the former Italy mainstay was sidelined for a month after rupturing a tendon in his left thumb, prompting club doctor Massimiliano Sala to say, “It’s now scientifically proven that video games can cause these injuries.”
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)