Women’s Euro 2022: Kenza Dali on battling into France squad after career-threatening injury

Kenza Dali has battled back from one career-threatening injury – and one slapstick injury – to twice force herself back into the France squad and leave her on the cusp of a first major tournament appearance in seven years.

The Everton midfielder suffered a serious knee injury during Euro 2017 qualifying – deemed too complicated to fix by three different doctors – before heartbreakingly missing out on a World Cup on home soil in 2019.

“I had two surgeries but my knee was completely done,” Dali told 90min. “I had a doctor telling me it was over, the high level for me was over. I was struggling for two years without any training; I couldn’t walk properly, I couldn’t run anymore. I thought it was finished.

“Two years later I start to feel better and I’m like: ‘nah, this is not over.’ To come back to the national team at the highest level, with people telling you it’s over; that’s my biggest trophy, my biggest victory. Now I enjoy everything. When you imagine you are going to have to stop your career, everything is a bonus after that.”

While the first injury was career-ending serious, the one sustained before the 2019 World Cup is something in retrospect she can now see the funny side of.

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