Man United defender Alex Telles on the clash that left him with nasty head scar

Man United lineup

The Brazilian is starting for United against Aston Villa.

In November of 2020, the Premier League rallied around Wolves striker Raul Jimenez.

The Mexican striker, who has flourished at Molineux since arriving at the club in 2018, was left with a fractured skull following a collision with Arsenal defender David Luiz.

Manchester United defender Alex Telles was one of those to lend his support, but unlike many of Jimenez’s well-wishers, the Brazilian knew exactly what he was going through.

Telles clash.

In 2013, Telles was involved in a horrible head clash that left him with a nasty scar.

Telles, who joined United from Porto for £13.6m last summer, was playing for Gremio in his native Brazil at the time.

Then 19, the promising full-back had recently moved to Gremio from Juventude. In February 2013, Telles turned out for Gremio against rivals Internacional, whose line-up featured Telles’ United teammate Fred.

Telles scar incident in 2013.

Telles competed for a high ball with Internacional’s Gabriel and clashed heads with the defender, leaving him with a broken nose and broken cheekbone, injuries that required an operation to insert metal plates into his face.

“It was from football, when I was playing for Gremio,” Telles told Inside United.

“The Gre-Nal derby, Fred was playing for Inter at the time, we were rivals.

“It was a high ball and I clashed heads with an Internacional player. I ended up with a depressed facial fracture here at the front [points].

“It was a very similar injury to the one Wolverhampton’s Jimenez suffered. It was a very similar situation.

“I ended up fracturing this part at the front and my nose. It was a very difficult and complicated moment for me, but I also learnt a lot whilst I was out. I was out for about two-and-a-half to three months.

“I had to have an operation on my head to reconstruct the skull bone.

“The scar is now part of my identity, a reminder of my story for the rest of my life.”

Telles’ journey to Old Trafford.

Telles certainly did not allow the painful memories of that clash to adversely impact his career’s trajectory.

He left Gremio in 2014 and joined Galatasaray, where he helped the Istanbul club to the Super Lig title in 2015. Telles also won two Turkish Cups during his two-year stint in Turkey before joining Porto in 2016.

There, Telles established himself as one of the finest performers in the Portuguese top-flight, winning two league titles while being named in the Primeira Liga team of the year on three occasions.

Following a productive 2019/20 season that saw him score 13 times in all competitions, Telles joined United with then-Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to add competition for Luke Shaw on the left side of his defence.

(This article was originally published on January 12th 2021.)

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