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Charlie Davies' battle for a place in the World Cup

Text by Emmanuel VERSACE

Latest update : 2010-04-22

Six month after he miraculously survived a terrible car crash, US football player Charlie Davies, who is signed with French club FC Sochaux, gives an exclusive interview to

“To get so close to a World Cup and to have it taken away from you... it's something I just couldn't live with”. Charlie Davies’ face is still slightly bruised and his gait not quite back to normal but his confidence has returned. The 23-year-old US football team striker has already come a long way.

What drives Charlie Davies?

It is a miracle that Davies came out alive from the horrific car accident he was in last October in Washington. The American was left with a cracked skull, a broken cheekbone and nose, a perforated bladder and fractures to his right tibia, femur and left elbow.

The American team of doctors that took care of Charlie estimated that it would be 10 months to a year before he would be running again. Davies himself wondered if he would ever be able to play again. So what has driven him to return to football so soon? “To prove to myself and the others that I can come back,” he says.

Now, after just six months, Davies hopes he can be fit enough to play again with FC Sochaux, the French club he signed with just a few months before the accident. He dreams that he can “score a goal or two” while he waits in hope to be called up by the US national men's team coach Bob Bradley for a place in the World Cup in June.

Charlie’s rehab buddies: Ashley Cole and Michael Essien

What do Ashley Cole, Michael Essien and Charlie Davies make of their time in rehab?

After two successful operations in the United States, Charlie flew back to France to spend some time in a sports rehab centre in Capbreton near Biarritz. His star flatmates Ashley Cole (England) and Ghana’s Michael Essien, both injured Chelsea players, helped Davies keep his spirits up.

“You don't really know how much something is so precious to you until you lose it. We [Ashley Cole and Davies ] both were desperate to get back for the end of the season and being able to be ready for the World Cup. And Essien was excited to be getting back. There is a good possibilty that maybe we could play each other in the second round. Some of my teammates in US would be very happy to play Ghana because of the last World Cup - we were unable to win [Ghana beat the USA 2-1 in their last group game].”

Thousands of hits on CharlieDavies9

How did Twitter help Charlie Davies recover?

Support came from his family but above all from his fans. More than 32,000 followers find out about the footballer's day-to-day progress on his Twitter account CharlieDavies9. As much a promotion tool as therapy, Charlie concedes his fans have helped him psychologically to get back on his feet. “To all my fans who supported me through this journey, I'd like to tell them thank you. I think everybody is extremely happy at how far I've come. I think have surprised a lot of people and I still have a lot of surprising to do."


Charlie Davies reveals all in quiz...

Quizzed by

Six months after his accident, Charlie is running and playing with the ball again. And he even had time to take a little FRANCE 24 quiz (see video on the left)....

Date created : 2010-03-30