Speaking in the Laurent Koscielny: Stronger documentary Arsenal medical director Dr Gary O’Driscoll has opened up on the captain’s devastating Achilles injury suffered in last season’s Europa League semi-final.
The tragedy struck inside the opening few minutes of the match against Atletico Madrid with Diego Costa the closets player to him.
Now when Koscielny has just returned to action for the Gunners, the medical director has made a revelation which will anger many Arsenal fans.
“Laurent was in significant pain and he said to me: ‘He kicked me! He kicked me!’
“Diego Costa came to us and tapped me on the shoulder and said: ‘I did not kick him, I heard a snap.’
“The fact that there was an audible snap on the pitch and there was no-one near him just indicated that this was a serious injury and one that hadn’t been caused by a foul.”
O’Driscoll added that Antoine Griezmann, Koscielny’s international teammate, came to see his fellow countryman when he was lying in the bed.
“There were three or four of us in the dressing room and Laurent was lying on the bed, close to tears,” he said. “It was an extremely emotional moment.
“The half time whistle went and suddenly all the players came in.
“The level of endearment, respect and love for Laurent was apparent straight away.
“All the players came over, there were lots of hugs and then the team went off for the team talk.
“I stayed with Laurent and then there was a very emotional moment when one of the players from the opposition came in, it was Antoine Griezmann.
“He walked in, went over, put his arm around him and the two of them had a fond embrace and a cuddle, and it was a prolonged one.
“Griezmann didn’t say to me, ‘how bad is this?’
“They looked at each other and they almost knew what the implications were.
“I think that made a big impression on Laurent. I think he knew that not only was he cared for and loved in the dressing room, but also that people outside were all thinking of him and were all caring about what was going to happen next, while also being aware that this is probably the end of his World Cup.”