a birthday that everyone would like to forget


There are images that cross the ages and remain alive, so strong and poignant they are. That of Marcin Wasilewski's right tibia, literally folded in two, is that one. Ten years later, it is always cold in the back, even if the weather has done its work. Ten years already. Anderlecht – Standard, August 30, 2009. Twenty-sixth minute of play. Along the sideline, Steven Defour pushes too far a ball that Wasilewski and Axel Witsel covet. Neither of them takes off. The shock is terrible. And the implacable verdict: double open fracture of the tibia and fibula and ten to twelve months of unavailability for the Polish international. But there will be, on arrival, two victims. Because if Wasilewski, six times on billiards, suffered in his flesh, Witsel, become a criminal, an assassin, the number one public enemy of a whole country, must have been terribly strong in his head for, from the top of his twenty years, overcome the test and get up.

Since then, Marcin Wasilewski and Axel Witsel met again and shook hands three years later, on October 24, 2012, on the Krestovski Stadium pitch in a Champions League match between Zenit St. Petersburg and Anderlecht. To put an end to a tragic story that Belgian football would have preferred to save.

►► Marcin Wasilewski: he was the only one to believe in his return to the field.

►► Axel Witsel: he took the opportunity to forge a thick carapace.

►► Jelle Van Damme, Jerome Nzolo: they come back on this unfortunate episode of Belgian football.

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