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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Meet The Tournament's Man With The Mask - John Yeboah

John Yeboah (with face mask) is one of two players of Ghanain origin in the German team. (Source: Germany Twitter)

John Yeboah (with face mask) is one of two players of Ghanain origin in the German team. (Source: Germany Twitter)

At the upcoming FIFA U-17 World, German left winger John Yeboah will be the one with the mask as he attempts to protect a broken nose which he sustained just before leaving for India.

The face mask is a fairly common sight in modern football now as players with facial injuries use it as a form protection to get through a match unscathed. The mask - holds together the angular bones of the visage while they slowly heal.

At the upcoming FIFA U-17 World, German left winger John Yeboah will be the one with the mask as he attempts to protect a broken nose which he sustained just before leaving for India.

Yeboah is one of two players of Ghanain origin in the German team and plays for the VfL Wolfsburg juniors. The smiling bloke might be restricted in emoting and talking while wearing the mask, but he continued to be a buzzing presence during their first practice on Monday.

Yeboah did not bother about the injury or the harm that might come from a second knock and continued to hog possession during the short practice match. The winger went about business as usual, though he’s likely to don the superhero-like mask through the fortnight.

“He broke his nose in one of the previous matches in Germany and therefore needs protection. The mask is carbon fibre so provides optimum protection,” a team training staff said.

Other masked men

The man who made the protective headgear famous by wearing it for the longest was Peter Cech, he donned it for 9 years after a serious collision fractured his skull.

In 2011, he needed to wear a mask under the helmet. Chelsea players have been freakishly prone to facial injuries — and all of Ramires, Paulo Ferreira, Pedro, Demba Ba, Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres, Nemanja Matic, Gary Cahill, Diego Costa and Cesar have worn the mask as the Blues with black eyes became a common feature.

Paolo Maldini wore one of the earliest models in 2003, and flying elbows are not uncommon inside the penalty box when defending corners, but it was Alberto Aquilani who cut the most pained of frames with dipping eyes when in fact his leather-like strapping blunted out that distinctive nose.

Yeboah, with his winsome curls, might be the first Zorro to hit Indian shores, and should he start in the XI, it’ll be difficult to miss the busybody on the pitch — never mind the constricting shield with double-banded elastics.