The term cabbage-patch pitch should have been spray-painted in massive letters onto the surface atÂ National Arena inÂ Bucharest this week.
As France travelled to Romania is the last round of Euro 2012 qualifiers, one of the most horrendous surfaces seen for some time in high-level football awaited them.
Unbelievably, the match against Les Bleus heralded theÂ inauguration of theÂ National Arena following recent renovations. But whilst the stands and the supporter facilities may have been improved, it looked like the Romanian FA failed to put any time or effort into cultivating the all-important pitch.
The result was not only a surface that cut up whenever a player sneezed; it was also an injury health hazard.
In that regard, Manchester United’s Patrice Evra was lucky escape serious injury moments before the halftime break. As the France left back marauded down the left hand side, a combination of having his ankle swallowed up by the turf and being on the receiving end of a clattering fromÂ Banel Nicolita left the Red Devil in a crumpled heap.
At first sight it looked like Sir Alex Ferguson would be left without his starting left-back for some time. Yet, against the odds, Evra managed to dust himself down and after receiving treatment at the break he was able to complete the contest.
Watch Patrice Evra’s lucky injury escape here.
Related link: Individual highlights of Karim Benzema’s performance inÂ Bucharest.