I am often amused by "soccer haters" in the United States who claim, for no real reason whatsoever that I can think of, that footballers are a dainty species.
No doubt this perception arises among casual observers by watching the likes of a Luca Toni, who dives like Greg Louganis. The reality of course is the vast majority of the footballing world tends to play on at all costs.
Witnesses to the Euro 2008 semi final battle between two nations battling for a spot in the final, Turkey and Germany, saw an example of the fortitude typical of a player wearing their nation's colors.
Right before half time, Ayhan Akman from Turkey and Simon Rolfes from Germany were going full steam toward a header. The back of Akman's head clashed with the left brow of Rolfes just above his left eye. As expected, both players went down in a heap clutching their respective wounds, but quickly hopped up to receive medical attention as both were gushing blood.
The ESPN feed was able to grab a great shot of Akman's head being stapled shut on the sideline as well as Rolfe's eye brow getting stitched. Both players came back in! No magic spray here folks, just desire and determination.