The Red Devils are training for the first time this afternoon in the run-up to the World Cup. It remains to be seen when Thomas Meunier will be on the field. The winger suffered a cheekbone fracture on October 19 and has not played with Dortmund since. To participate in the World Cup, a protective face mask was made in Germany.
Today at 13:26
Borussia Dortmund played against Borussia Mönchengladbach (4-2 loss) on Friday. There was still no trace of Thomas Meunier (31) in that match. The Red Devil has been unemployed for 7 games in Germany since he suffered a cheekbone fracture in a cup match with Hanover 96. Then he got an arm against his face on the hour. Meunier was operated on the day after and for a while there were fears for his World Cup.
However, the player is in the Belgian World Cup selection and reports this afternoon in Tubize where the national team gathers. In recent weeks, Meunier has maintained his condition – initially without duels – and now he is preparing to play matches again. This is possible because a face mask has been made to protect him. Normally there is only one company in Belgium – Vigo from Wetteren – that makes custom masks from carbon or a special type of plastic, but Meunier’s face mask was already manufactured in Germany.
It is a sophisticated accessory. The fracture site is usually left open, sparing the sensitive site if the face takes another blow. The pressure points are elsewhere on the skull. The eyes are also left as free as possible so that the view is not obstructed too much and breathing freely is also possible.
The Masked Winger
And yet… No matter how well such a mask fits on the head, football players don’t like to wear it. Last year, for example, Kevin De Bruyne broke his nose and eye socket in the Champions League final three weeks before the European Championship. Even then it was planned that King Kev would play with a face mask at Euro 2020, but at the tournament he left it out. The risks were not that great.
Thomas Meunier is said to have to wear it in Qatar, especially in the beginning. If the winger comes out like that, he’s The Masked Winger.