Gareth Southgate fears he could suffer from dementia later in life – but still would not change anything in his career.
England boss Southgate admits he knew the risks he was taking during his playing days and the concern has only been heightened by the high number of former players suffering from the disease.
But Southgate says he finished games with a head wound like Arsenal defender David Luiz and even believes he suffered concussion and still played on which is the concern even for today’s players, especially after Raul Jimenez’s horror injury.
Former England international Southgate, talking to the BBC, said: “I’ve been that soldier, I’ve played in that condition and of course in those days we didn’t even think about it.
“I would have finished games concussed, for sure.
“I was asked a few weeks ago whether I had concerns about it as a former player. Well, of course I do because it’s a horrible illness. One that I’ve seen with family and the impact of it.
“But I knew when I was playing and I knew the risks that I was taking around my health.
“And I wouldn’t have swapped that for the career that I had but I know in the future there are things that I could be affected by.”
Southgate insists managers will always follow medical advice and believes any boss would not hesitate in taking off a player if they had any doubts about their health.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta defended club doctor Gary O’Driscoll who cleared Luiz to play on despite his clash of heads with Wolves striker Jimenez before the Gunners centre half was substituted at half time.
Southgate added: “There are very clear guidelines now and we’ve to assume that Arsenal’s medical team followed that at the time on the pitch and took a further assessment at half time.
“We don’t exactly know why David Luiz was taken off at half time. It’s something everyone is very conscious of.
“I think it’s something now that medical teams and doctors are far more aware of, coaches are. If our medical team take a call that a player has to come off, there’s not even an argument. It’s done.
“The guidelines are very strict.
“It’s hard to comment on the individual incident because I wasn’t involved in the discussion but I would have thought the people at Arsenal would have been on that and would have been dealing with that in the right way.”
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