Tough tactics! XI Dirtiest Players in World Football
Volkan Demirel, Fenerbache
Any goalkeeper who has a reputation to be feared must be an interesting character. The reason why he’s public enemy number one of all the goalkeepers? Well… it’s fair to say he’s lost his cool on a number of occasions, the most famous incident perhaps was during a heated Istanbul derby when he kneed Galatasaray’s Cassio Lincoln in a, let’s just say, delicate, area.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesLars Baron
Pepe, Real Madrid/Brazil
Real Madrid’s, occasionally calamitous, central defender is well known for his ability to find trouble on the pitch and in most cases be the cause of that trouble. His not so finest hour came during a match with Getafe where he gave away a penalty for pushing Francisco Casquero, before kicking the grounded midfielder, raking his studs over the player’s back and striking another Getafe player and hurling abuse at the referees before finally being sent off. Real classy.
Getty ImagesMartin Rose
Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid/Spain
The other half of Real’s dirty duo, Ramos can lay claim to being the most red carded player in La Liga history at the youthful age of 28. He also knows when to produce his best and as well as boasting 180 yellow cards, his most recent sending off came in El Classico and having been given his marching orders 19 times already in the derby he’s bound to pick up some more.
Getty ImagesGonzalo Arroyo Moreno
Martin Skrtel, Liverpool
As we know some things in life are certain, death and taxes, definitely, Martin Skrtel to wrestle an opponent down in the box from a set piece? No doubt. The Liverpool defender has picked up a reputation as a tough tackler, so much so that the big Slovakian has even clashed with teammate Luis Suarez in training.
Getty ImagesGareth Copley
Ryan Shawcross, Stoke City
Physical, powerful and a real tough cookie – the embodiment of Stoke City. However, he’s also clumsy and when combined with the previous attributes, Shawcross can be dangerous. Unfortunately Aaron Ramsey found this out the hard way and during one trip Arsenal made to Stoke in February 2010. In the heat of battle, the Stoke captain miss timed a slide tackle and snapped Ramsey’s lower leg like a toothpick.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Nigel de Jong, AC Milan
“The Terrier” as he is nicknamed, doesn’t do him justice. One of the fiercest competitors in world soccer, De Jong is perhaps most infamously known for his high kick to the chest of Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup final. Referee Howard Webb didn’t send De Jong off for the challenge –- that almost snapped Alonso in half!
Getty ImagesDean Mouhtaropoulos
Joey Barton, Queens Park Rangers
Where do you begin with the lad from Huyton, Merseyside? He’s passionate and, unfortunately, gets himself into trouble on and off the field. He has been involved in countless incidents down the years and remains one of the most disgraced characters in English soccer. One of his most regrettable moments came in the last game of the 2011-12 Premier League season. He got sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez in the face, proceeded to attack Sergio Aguero, headbutt Vincent Kompany and got a 12-match ban for his troubles. Ludicrous.
Action ImagesHenry Browne
Lee Cattermole, Sunderland
At the age of 26, Cattermole has already been sent off a staggering seven times in his career –- a Premier League record. At the time he earned his record-breaking red, he averaged a sending off every 26 games. Opposition manager Steve Bruce’s –- whom Cattermole had served in two spells – views on his ex-players tackle weren’t exactly complimentary, he said: “Thankfully he's not mine to manage anymore.”
Getty ImagesMatthew Lewis
Lorik Cana, Lazio
Loved and hated in equal measure, Cana is one of soccer’s true warriors. If he plays for your team he is your hero, if he is on the other team you more than likely shout obscenities from the stands. The Lazio center-back and captain of Albania is the master at professional fouls, the sort that stop attacks and have the potential to win matches. His rough defensive techniques make for a painful 90 minutes for any attacker.
AFP/Getty ImagesCARLO HERMANN
Gary Medel, Cardiff City/Chile
His hard-hitting performances in La Liga for Sevilla led him to be nicknamed ‘El Pitbull’. Built more like a bull, the Chilean enforcer doesn’t take any nonsense from anyone. In the 2013 Copa Del Rey he was sent off for a challenge on Diego Costa and subsequently smashed up a plastic chair on the sidelines. Don’t mess!
AFP/Getty ImagesMARTIN BERNETTI
Luis Suarez, Liverpool/Uruguay
Up until the 2014 World Cup, Suarez's behavior had been improving, but he still has the characteristics to frustrate many a soccer fan. Suarez is one of the best players in the world but it’s the other part of his game that lets him down. Headbutts, a racism row and persistent diving and bites (his latest act against Italy on Tuesday comes to mind) -- it's all been part of his game.