The image no Buriram United supporter wanted to see as Diogo is carried off in agony early in the Champions League game against FC Seoul. The early prognosis was good and it was thought he would be back in three weeks but further investigation revealed that his shoulder had been fractured as well as dislocated. This means he will be out for three months and Diogo has returned to Brazil for corrective surgery. We all wish Diogo a speedy and full recovery.
However, this is a major blow to Buriram United following their heavy defeat against FC Seoul. It gives them a mountain to climb to qualify for the knock-out stages without their star striker. Obviously Buriram United cannot register any more players for the Champions League and it is difficult to see where the goals are going to come from against quality opposition with the players they have got. After just one game, it seems a nigh-on impossible task.
But there are also major implications for the domestic season. Currently, Buriram United have their full quota of five foreign players. Knowing Diogo will miss at least thirteen league games, will Buriram United risk keeping him or will they sign a replacement before the window closes at the end of next month.
There is no reason to think that Diogo will not return to full fitness but could Buriram United find themselves cast adrift of their rivals by the time he returns. It looks like it’s going to be a far more competitive league this season and Buriram United are missing two players who scored fifty-four league goals between them last year.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how things pan out as Buriram United fly out to China to face Shandong Luneng in the next Champions League game on March 2 , kick-off 2.30pm Thai time. It will be no picnic as the Chinese defeated group favourites Hiroshima 2-1 in Japan.