How Football Players Slide On Their Knees And Not Get Hurt?
Health And Family,  Sports

How Football Players Slide On Their Knees And Not Get Hurt?

How Football Players Slide On Their Knees And Not Get Hurt?

I remember watching every goal in which a player performs the sliding celebration and ask myself, “why doesn’t it hurt?” How can anyone slide on their knees and still not get hurt?

How Football Players Slide On Their Knees And Not Get Hurt?

After much research, I realised that, a knee slide is a lot more difficult to perform than it looks. However, when knee sliding, there is little or no friction between the player and the grass as long as the motion and knee placement are executed correctly.

Football players are usually discouraged and sometimes forbidden from performing knee slides as there are always injury risks if badly performed.

How safe?


According to Quora user Chris Wern, footballers don’t always get hurt when knee sliding because they do it on soft, well manicured and wet grass. The wetness of the grass is probably the biggest safety factor in doing knee slides as it reduces the friction between the player and the turf. Football teams usually wet the field before a match kicks off and also at half time. This makes the surface very slick, allowing footballers to easily slide without getting stuck on their knees.

According to another Quora user Clint Benson, the safety netting is not only in the wet grass, if you have a large amount of sweat on your skin that sweat can act as a pretty good lubricant. However, good technique is still important and the most effective technique is to have the tops of your feet inline with the shins, and the center of mass above the ankle and or foot. This evens out the pressure over the largest area so no one part digs into the turf and also helps keep pressure lower at the knee.

At what cost?

Though a knee slide appears to be generally safe, there has incidents which left players on the operating table. As recount by Cormac Hugh Neeson, one of the most iconic knee slides of all time was performed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after scoring the last-gasp winner for Man Utd in the 1999 Champion’s League final. What many people do not realise is that he damaged his medial ligaments while doing so. Some say it was the injury that eventually ended his career, but the man himself insists they were separate injuries.

Another player who seriously hurt himself doing knee slides is Eden Hazard and he himself admitted, “No more of these celebrations… My knees are on fire.”


Players do actually get hurt a lot of times performing knee slides. Though it is relatively safe to perform a knee slide on a wet pitch, due to reduced friction, a lot of players have been hurt by that type of celebration. Some have sustained injuries that cut short their careers.

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.

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