Jonathan Woodgate turned to botox and ‘boiled grass’ as he battled injury hell

Jonathan Woodgate has revealed that he resorted to extreme measures such as using botox and boiled grass in a bid to end his never-ending injury hell at Real Madrid.

Woodgate made headlines around the world when he was snapped up by Los Blancos in a shock £13.4million transfer from Newcastle back in the summer of 2004. But unfortunately, the English defender failed to make an impact at the Bernabeu due to a string of injury issues.

The 42-year-old's career was often blighted by injuries – but he still managed to turn out for the likes of Tottenham and Middlesbrough, while Woodgate also won eight England caps.

But it was after sealing his dream switch to Madrid that Woodgate was desperate to beat his fitness issues once and for all – and he's revealed the extreme lengths he went to in order to try and beat his demons during his spell with Los Blancos.

Speaking on the Original Penguin X Campaign Against Living Miserably Under The Surface podcast, Woodgate revealed: "In Madrid I was doing 1,000 sit-ups a day trying to strengthen my core and my back, and was thinking to myself ‘1,000 sit ups a day. Jheez. How was that going to get me fit?’ If anything it was going to cause me more trouble in my back, so in the end I went back to my old physio at Leeds who got me fit.

"I had Physio, Botox, injections. There was one time they bought this fella over who said he could get me fit, who had written to the club saying he could get me fit. He boiled some grass, put it in clingfilm and wrapped it round my leg. I was thinking to myself ‘what?! I’m at Real Madrid and you’re putting grass on me’. He looked like Captain Birdseye!

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"I started wondering if the club thought it was all in my mind and I’m not really that bad? With scans that weren’t showing anything, but I knew I wasn’t alright because I couldn’t run, so I started thinking psychologically do they think I’m deluded? Do they think I’m soft? Do they think I’m lying?"

Woodgate – who was sent off after netting an own goal on his Real Madrid debut – admits that he considers his time in Madrid as a failure and opened on one of the biggest disappointments of his ill-fated spell in Spain.

He added: "Failure is the one word I’d use about Madrid. When you sign for the biggest team in the world, you want to go there and make a difference, but I didn’t. Didn’t win any trophies there, hardly played, so that’s why I’d put it down as a failure. When I look back on my career – that gets to me. More than anything. Because you’re on the biggest stage. And my body let me down.

"The year I left they won La Liga, and I’m not gonna lie, I was absolutely devastated because I wasn’t there. But I got back fit playing for Boro and back in the England squad, and the one thing about me as a player was that I would never give up, always kept on going and tried to find something within."

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