Practice English Speaking&Listening with: EP1: Home To Repair. Unseen Journey: Hector Bellerin

Difficulty: 0

Do you mind if I tell

the only person I would like to tell obviously is Unai

Can I tell Unai and then I won't tell anybody else

You can tell them this afternoon

Ok, yeah, yeah, that's fine.

I'm so sorry mate but you know you'll get back from this

You know cruciates are not a big issue these days

'course, yeah

We will get back from this, no problem


We'll see Andy tomorrow and then go to Spain

All right, cool mate.

Ok, all right. Hctor, I'm so sorry mate.

That's alright man, thank you.


Cruciate then, innit.

You wont know how long innit?

No, bruv

I already knew anyway, so...

I don't like this fam.

I don't like this now.

Ow, looks nasty.

That looks as well, that he's done that on his...

on his own, it's not any contact or anyplayer near him

You know straight away whena player makes that gesture

straight away...


You know there's a problem.

Yeah, there's something serious.

My name is Hctor Bellern

I'm a Spanishfootball player, born in Barcelona

and I play for Arsenal football club.

I've been there for the past

almost the past decade I would say.

The reason I...

decided to record this documentary

is to take you guys through the actual

emotional journey and the things that...

you know we go through when we get this kind of injuries.

Is that ok?

This place is going to miss you.

Thank you bro, I'm gonna try my best.

I wish you were playing on Saturday.

Thank you man, thank you.

The day after the injury I didn't do much but wait for the MRI

Uh, obviously it was reallyhard to sleep, I was in pain.


and just thinking about our everything really.

What could I have done to not get injured.

Did I just like, I don't know...

Did I just notprepare for the game properly

did I just not sleepproperly

did I not eat what I had to eat

all thesequestions were going through my...

through my head.

Gary the doctor wanted to make sure

and I rememberafter the game he was like:

"Hctor you don't have to worry about it too much at the moment youknow"

"until we get the results of the MRI"

"just don't think anything of it"

and I was likeGary

"I know I tore my ACL, it's all good you know"

"it's six months nine months, whatever"

"let'sjust let's just uh think of it as as it is."

It was a bit difficult to

kind of thinkand put it into perspective

the fact that, uh

you know I've been playing football my wholelife

I never had like a big injury like that so...

What the hell was I gonna do

with my timethen?

You know, because I've always beeninterested in things

off the pitch andI've been doing them

since I was 20-21, but still

I never would have had that muchtime off the pitch

and that kind of was scary.

My injury history prior to that season

had beenpretty immaculate I would say.

Small issues with ankles when I was like 16-17

and apart from a bigankle injury

that kind of took me away from

from the pitch for like two months

but didn't requireany surgery or anything

the rest were just soft tissue injuries

I think it was a season before I probablyplayed

like 48 games in the whole year, so it was

it was pretty good, in terms of

in terms of howmany games

I was able to play without injury, etc.

Straight away I knew that it was my ACL.

I putmy left foot on the ground

and I kind of

tried to change direction

and as soon as I did that

I just felt a pop in the inside of my knee.

It was something very very different and

you knowsomehow, yeah, I just knew that

that's what it was.

When I saw him being stretched out of thepitch

you always think:

"Well something more serioushappened"

Across our high performancemedical department

we're sort of scratchingour heads

and you always do sort of think:

"Maybeit is the worst. Either a fracture or an ACL"

And unfortunately for Hctor it was a cruciateligament.

It just doesn't look good at all, does it?

No, it doesn't look good at all, and

that could be a massive blow for the rest of the season.

But, listen

fingers crossed, it won't be as

as bad as it looks.

Kind of got the bad news in the sense that

that they were suspecting was something severe

in the meanwhile I start texting my colleagueshere as well

which said: "Well, most likely an ACL"

There'sa mechanism, there's a lot in the clinical picture

that I have, with immediate swelling

saw a gap whenyou test some instability

on the anterior drawer test

and obviously a lot of pain.

Hctordescribes the mechanism where he felt his knee

clicking and going back to place

so fromthe first day

although the imaging was notperformed

it was

it was a straightforward ACL unfortunately.

You know this, that um...

little bit of fear in the back of your head

that, you know, you're not gonna be able to

to play football in the same way that you usedto play.

So, that was the only thing that


was a bit scary back then.

I knew that allthe other things

I would have to deal with it, after

I remember saying to my friend like:

"I'm justworthless man."

"The only thing that I know how to do"

"I cannot do."

And at this time I don't know if I'm gonna be able to do it again.

I knew that I was gonna go through

a lot of hard times, a lot ofobstacles

pain, disappointment

all of these things.

You know, the fact that I wasn't goingto live

the same life that I was living before.

I've known Hctor for almost 18years now.

Since we were eight.

I like to think I'm one of Hctor's bestmates.

We started playing when we wereeight

in the Barcelona academy.

That's whereour relationship started

when were kids just chasing a ball and playing football.

He's a really kind-hearted guy

like he's got a huge heart

to meet people with the heartof Hctor and

and know that you have them in your life

probably till we die so

it goes beyond football I'd say

I remember my agent messaging me and saying to me

it looks like a Hctor's done his knee

so I put the game straight on

and it was just I was abit in shock

and a bit sad because

just by seeing the replay

you could tell it wasn't anice one.

You could see the way his knee

went into that position and then he bouncedoff it.

It's never a good image when you see thatof any footballer

but with someone youknow so well

and you know so closely, it just hurtsthat little bit more.

He was obviously disappointed

but at the same time you could see

that he washungry for the challenge almost

like saying, look you can't change the injury

you can't change what's happened

all you can do isjust

focus on the on the way up

on the way back.

The outlook I had on the injury at the beginning

was I think very realistic and very positive.

I decided to vlog.

At that time I didn't know

what I was what was gonna come off these vlogs

One of my friends

as soon as I got injured

and heknew it was going to be a long time

got me a notebook and a pen

and he was like: "Hctor you've got, uh"

"you gotta write down your thoughts you know"

"you gotta, uum..."

"you gotta write something about everything"

"that's gonna happen to you"

"and maybe in the future you'll..."

"you will, um..."

"you knowcherish it or maybe you'll share it with people."

A lot of things go through your head right


in these times, and sometimes

talking to someone

and for me talking to the camera

talking toall the people behind the screens

that was an exercise for me to be able to open up

and to be able to tell people what I was feeling.

and sometimes...

feeling vulnerable of what I wasgonna say

knowing that after that it was gonna goon YouTube

and people were gonna see it.

You know I knew that possibly

that experiencewould have had the

the chance to help people thatwas going for the same stuff.

It's around 11 o'clock now.


I've just...

been stretched off from

from the game against

against Chelsea.

Hello everyone...

Uh, it's day 2


Still there's not many things we can say about it.

Yeah, at the moment

today it feels like

more swollen than yesterday more painful

I'm trying not to have some painkill...

like, too many painkillers because

I don'treally like them, personally.

The third day, um...

I've received the news from Gary the doctor

that I've got an external cruciate ligament injury

and uh...

Day 4 now.

What day is it?

Never saw Hctor in a negative, or too down

I think he's always had that support to keephim positive

I saw him and he was quite upbeat

joking about his knees, the size of his quads, and...

joking about my past injuries, like wedo

uh, so yeah, that sense of humor

to put a smile on a bad situation

and to stay positiveand happy and...

and yeah, that's who Hctor is.

Ah, ah!

I wanna do that all the time in my house.

Tech is mad already!

Tech is mad already and it's been 3 days.


I went to Barcelona for two reasons, um...

one of them being my family were there.

I knew I needed the support

I knew they would takecare of me

The second one is because Dr. Cugatwas in Barcelona

Loads of football players havedone surgeries with him

I just thought it was best

decision to do the first few

weeks of rehab, plus the surgery, over there.

This bruv.

Mazza, absolute mazza!


Leaving London, it just felt kind of weird

that football was still going on

my teammates were still playing

they were still training

and, I was gonna be

um, you know in...

in Barcelona.

There's many things I like about London

I'veshaped my life around this city

and this city has shaped me.

If my family would have been livinghere in the U.K.

I probably would have

you know decided to do my surgery over here, or something

and do the rehab here, but um...

at that time for me family was more important than...

than where I was.

I just wanted to be close to them.

My mental health was probably as important

as thesurgery.

Gary, the doc, was very supportive in terms of:

"Hctor if you need to go to Spain, go to Spain."

Players are from all different types of the world

and as much positive they are in thesemoments

there's one common thing to all of them

if they can choose to be close to family

in a familiar environment, in their hometown

it's all the better

There was an immediate tendency

to choose Barcelona as a place to get the surgery.

Ok, so we're on the plane

I'm aboutto take off to Barcelona, um.

The whole time at the airport

I've been on a wheelchair

I had such a hard time

because I'm alsonot used to

people doing stuff for me or like...

You know, I can't do nothing.

*Very good afternoon to you, ladies and gentlemen*

The flight was good man.


Turbulence was mad. But, um.

Spilledall the coffee on my tracksuit.

But, uh, glad I could make it.

Glad we couldmake it*

and, uh, yeah, I've got, it's like...

It's like seven o'clock here now

I've got a meeting with the doctor at eight o'clock.

We're just gonna check in the bags andstuff

and then...

See Mr. Cugat.

I am an orthopedic surgeon.

I was involved in the footballfederation

from 23 September 1965.

That is thereason I know a lot of soccer players

coach, trainers a lot of people in this world.

Not only here in Spain.

Around the world.

Hctor needs to have confidence with you

and you need to speak, explain:

Ok, you have rupture anterior crucial ligament

but doesn'tmatter nowadays

nowadays it's possible todo surgery

and the most common is to go back toplay.

Don't worry.

It always reassures a footballplayer

when they go to someone

some doctor that has a lot of experience

working with athletes.

Especially if they are from the same sport.

Onceyou go to an appointment that you already believe

in the person that's behind the desk

I think things become so much easier.

It's a matter of belief and I think that's

that's why sometimes the clubs

especially at this level

they do facilitate for theplayer to

lean towards a particular surgeon.

I mean I was comfortable with Cugat

I know he hadmassive experience

from many many years ago

He had surgeries to some of my teammates and friends

so I knew I was in the best hands possible so


Yeah, there was no doubt in my head that

the surgery was going to be successful

It didn't swell

No, it tooks 24 hours.

Yeah. A long time.




Ow, ow, ow, ow.

Lateral collateral ligament

And I explain:

That's the anterior cruciate ligament, it's a rupture

because this ligament is soeasy to rupture

when any distortion

sometimes the shoes is fixed.

And the most common is whenyou rotate

and what happened in the rotation

and then valgus and flexion

and finally translation.

That is the mostcommon mechanism

of injury of theanterior crucial ligament.

And sometimes in six months, seven months

he's possible to go back.

ButI explained if it's possible to wait minimum

7, 8 or 9 is much better.

We already had theresults of the MRI scan

so we knew it was an ACL.

And one of the things, I thought I was gonna get

surgery probably the day after

or something like that, but he said that

I had to do rehab beforethe surgery

so the swelling on my knee would go

and he said that could take time off the actual rehab

The lateral ligament on the scan looks okay

but it does open up.


open up like this, um.

butthe meniscus

I think is quite a complex tear

My injury was on the 18th of Jan

and I didn'tget my surgery

until 12 days later on the 30th.


Towards the end of those two weeks

my knee was feeling much better, so I was like

"MaybeI don't need to have surgery"

but, um, noobviously

I did need to.

And, um, yeah, it was, uh

that was his first diagnosis.

Maybe before then a week it will be difficult.


We checked the knee

and then said: "Ok, yes anterior cruciate ligament"

and said: "Ok, demonstrate the rupture of the

anterior cruciate ligament

plus a little injury of thelateral meniscus

but said: "Please, please take care."

"Now the most important is to avoid inflammation"

"stop the inflammation to get range of motion"

"of the knee and no pain"

"and then the knee isready"

"to go to the surgery room."

As soon as I knewhe had that injury

I've never had a ligamentbut


I've had problems with the knee

so I could relate to that a little bit.

Uh, so

all I said to him was like just relax everything

you're in the best hands in the world probably

with the surgeons in Spain, uh, with Ramon Cugat.

Uh, so

that's something you didn't need to

worryabout the surgery

because it was going to gowell.

Instead of like 15 days it ended up being12.

It was just waiting you know it was, uh...

I just couldn't wait for the surgery to be over

to then actually start the proper rehab so

it got a bit annoying at some point

and I was just you knowspeaking to the physio

and saying like: "Come onman like it looks good"

"I shouldgo ahead and do it"

and they were like: "No, honestly wait"

"you're gonna be thankful once it, um"

"once you go into your actual rehab."

I miss the dressing room, I miss myteammates

I miss waking up in the morning...

doing what I love.

I'm missing everyone on thetraining ground

You know people think rehab or...

you know, our careers are just a straight line up

and it's really not like that

it's so manyups and downs just from like day to day

it's just from like day to day

from the morning till the evening

constantly everchanging emotions

physical sensations, feelings.

It was very difficult at times

and ithink it was normal for me to...

to doubt.

You just follow the process

which the first period is checking the severity

and then you take decisions from there.

But you will knowthat the goals

will suit on the time frame

based on what type of surgery

he's gonna have.

At the time his family was in Barcelona

When you have a setback like that

from my experience as well

uh,all you want to do is be around the people

you trust the most and be around the people

you lovethe most and that's family.

It was all about settingsmall goals

and be like: "Ok, now I want to do thesurgery"

"after the surgery I'm going to wait"

"for them to take my stitches out my knee"

settingthese little short-term goals

that you know

slowly would take me to

the bigger goal

which was being back on the football pitch.

The Description of EP1: Home To Repair. Unseen Journey: Hector Bellerin