Eder Militao gives emotional response to ACL injury comeback

  • Eder Militao returned for Real Madrid against Athletic Club
  • Centre-back suffered ACL injury during reverse fixture
  • He missed almost eight months following August injury

Eder Militao was back on the pitch for Real Madrid
Eder Militao was back on the pitch for Real Madrid / Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

Eder Militao struggled to put into words his delight at being back on the pitch for Real Madrid on Sunday, almost eight months after he suffered an ACL tear that derailed his season.

Militao, who has emerged as one of the best centre-backs in the world, suffered the dreaded knee injury early in the second half of the season opener against Athletic Club at San Mames in Bilbao.

Over the weekend, he appeared off the bench at the Bernabeu against the same opposition, adding a degree of closure to his comeback after it came full circle.

"It is a joy that I cannot explain," the Brazilian told Movistar Plus+.

"A lot of happiness, for the support of the fans. They have been difficult days, but now it's time to enjoy this good moment. It had to be here, at home, and against the club I was injured against."

Militao was out for nearly eight months
Militao was out for nearly eight months / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Stepping up as a regular starter in the wake of Sergio Ramos departing Madrid in 2021, Militao played 101 times for the club across the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons alone.

Carlo Ancelotti has also been without David Alaba for much of the campaign, denying the boss a stable centre-back partner for Antonio Rudiger. Veteran club captain Nacho has been the main beneficiary, getting an extended run of games in his preferred central position since Christmas after being viewed as a utility stand-in throughout most of his career.

Madrid highlighted their commitment to Militao in January when he signed a new contract until 2028. His previous deal was due to expire at the end of next season. The new terms included a pay rise for the Brazilian, with his release clause set at €1bn.

With less than two months of the season left to play, it remains to be seen whether he will have enough time to prove his fitness to be considered for Brazil selection at the Copa America.