All you hear this days is about Cristina Neagu’s shoulder injury. You hear/ read around things like:
“she will never play handball again”
“if she has a surgery, it will be the end of her career”
“do the surgery, it will be ok, others did so and are now playing their best handball ever”
….and so on. I could extract excerpts from the Romanian press all day long.
What it is known for sure is that Cristina, is indeed, injured and this is the reason Anja Andersen coddled her in the past games.
She has been injured since the European Championship, but she still played in every game (except the one with Russia), the whole 60 minutes. It is no doubt that she is very important for the club and for the national team. What’s interesting is why this entire good cop, bad cop game … around this matter. Although Anja said that winning Champions League is an objective for the next year, is something that some people around Oltchim hope to happen this year, so obviously if Cristina has the surgery she will be out for 3 to 6 months, so she will not play for the team, so here we have a smaller chance of winning this year’s Champions League = PROBLEM. Of course all of this are speculations.
Cristina went this week, together with Anja Andersen to some clinics in Denmark and Belgium, for some investigation and take a decision regarding her shoulder, decision that hopefully she will make in her best interest, and not the interest of others.
Like Anja said this week “She is not a machine. She is a human first and then a handball player”, something that you don’t hear around too often. In Romania, you are educated to embrace the pain that comes with the sport you are practicing. Nobody denies that there are risks in being a professional player, and having injuries…but at the end of the day, it has to bring you joy and satisfaction, definitely no pain and sorrow.
Anja Andersen’s mentality it’s clearly different, and to her, the people matter more than the glory of winning with all costs. It seems it is something that she will not sacrifice in Oltchim, and she will not do it with Cristina Neagu either…as important as she might be for the team.
I recently read a post written by Radu Naum (a Romanian sport journalist) “The phantoms Revenge”. He talked there about how the girls are now taking revenge for all the treatments they were applied to, in the past (no lights after 10 pm…and some more, because that’s how we do “performance” here). Like Radu Naum said in its post “Anja hit us like an asteroid…” and so the thinks are shaking a bit, but that’s Anja :).
I truly hope that some things are going to change, but of course it takes time.
Coming back to Cristina Neagu, the latest news is that, with the help of the former president of Romanian Olympic Committee and a famous tennis player in the 70s, Ion Tiriac, she will be seen by a physiotherapist in Austria. This doctor has also treated with “no surgery” Boris Becker and the swimmer Camelia Potec who had similar injuries.
To be continued…