Lazio full-back Riza Durmisi admits “2018 was the worst year of my career. It’s my fault, I played for too long using pain-killing injections.”
The Denmark international turns 25 next week and sat down with B.T. Nyheder to discuss his difficult year.
“I have to say that 2018 was the worst year of my career. The only positives were Betis qualifying for Europe, my goal against Sevilla and the summer transfer to Lazio.
“This back injury has been with me since my time at Brondby. At the start, I thought it was just flaring up again, but in 2018 it got so bad that I had to sit out several games and effectively ruled me out of the World Cup.
“I moved to Lazio, played a couple of games and got hurt again, this time to my elbow. It’s my fault, because I played through a back injury for too long using pain-killers.
“I am admitting it now, but the physiotherapists and medical staff at Betis and the Danish national team know it. I tried to do everything to be ready for the World Cup.
“It’s not new, as in 2016 I injected some pain-killers into my knee to play against Poland, then again three days later so I could face Montenegro. Everyone on international duty knows how far I went to be at the World Cup.
“I had a fall after my first game with Betis and fortunately my father was there with me. I was told that I’d had too many pain-killing injections and was out for around a month. I returned too early and didn’t heal properly, I know it was a mistake, but when you’re young and everything is up for grabs, you don’t want to hold back.
“I’ve just visited a specialist in Seville to sort things out once and for all. I hope to finally resolve the back problem that has been troubling me for over two years.
“I no longer take pain-killers and I have no concerns in saying 2019 will be my year.”