From Luis Suarez’s teeth to Roy Keane storming out on the Republic of Ireland and Toni Schumacher pole-axing Patrick Battiston in ‘82, AFP Sport selects a team of 11 bad boys in World Cup history:
Toni Schumacher (West Germany)
Battiston lost two teeth, cracked three ribs and was left unconscious after Schumacher’s hip smashed into his face in the semi-final of the 1982 tournament in Spain. The German, who to this day insists he was going for the ball and is still an unpopular name in France, escaped a booking and showed no remorse as West Germany won the match 5-4 on penalties, as it had finished 3-3 after extra-time.
Khalid Boulahrouz (Netherlands)
A record four red and 16 yellow cards were shown during ‘the Battle of Nuremberg’ when Portugal beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the Round of 16 at the 2006 World Cup. Boulahrouz was booked for a studs up tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo, which forced the Portugal superstar off, and was sent off for a second yellow in the second half. Amidst the carnage, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, plus Portugal’s Deco and Costinha all received double yellow cards while Luis Figo was booked for head butting Marc van Bommel.
Nigel De Jong (Netherlands)
De Jong’s flying kick landed on Xabi Alonso’s chest in the 2010 World Cup final, dubbed the ‘Battle of Johannesburg’, earned the Dutchman a yellow card and warning from English ref Howard Webb in another bad-tempered display by the ‘Oranje’.
The kung-fu kick set the tone for a brutal final as the Dutch earned nine yellow cards, including a pair shown to John Heitinga, who was sent off in extra time. The Spanish, themselves no angels with five yellow cards, took the trophy when Andres Iniesta slammed home the extra-time winner.
Zinedine Zidane (France), Marco Materazzi (Italy)
The key moment of the 2006 World Cup final came in extra time when Zidane’s sudden head butt floored Materazzi. Zidane was apparently retaliating for a verbal provocation. But reports differ as to what Materazzi actually said that triggered the attack and saw the French legend sent off on 110 minutes in his last international appearance.
Italy won the final 5-3 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 as Zidane’s seventh-minute penalty was cancelled out by Materazzi’s first-half header.
David Beckham (England)
Beckham was sent off for a petulant kick aimed at Argentina captain Diego Simeone, who had just clattered England’s midfield ace, early in the second-half of the quarter-final defeat in the 1998 finals.
It finished 2-2 after extra time before England lost 4-3 on penalties, but for Beckham the ordeal was just beginning.
The Manchester United star bore the brunt of a national outcry on his return to England and “God Forgives Even David Beckham” appeared on a poster outside a church in Nottingham, appealing for clemency on his behalf.
Diego Maradona (Argentina)
The midfield maestro made World Cup folklore with his ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the last eight of the 1986 finals, then moments later beat five defenders on a mazy run for his second as Argentina went onto win the title.
However, Maradona finished his World Cup career in disgrace after failing a drugs test in the 1994 finals held in the USA. His primal scream into the television cameras, eyes bulging, after scoring against Greece was repeatedly shown after it was discovered he had taken a stimulant.
Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
Sent off for a deliberate handball in Uruguay’s quarter-final win over Ghana in South Africa 2010, Suarez was banned for four months for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder four years later in Brazil.