The top 5 Controversial violent incidents in Football?


Following the Nelson Vivas incident,  here is another 5 controversial violent clashes, including ex-Manchester United, Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle, and Real Madrid players.

Former Arsenal player Nelson Vivas had taken charge of Quilmes at the start of the Argentinian season, his first managerial job. However it ended in disaster after he today confirmed his resignation following his attack on a supporter in the stands.

Vivas hit the fan three times after he had been suffering abuse from said supporter throughout the match. He isn’t the first to lose his temper though, others have vented their anger in more dramatic ways.

Eric Cantona‘s kung-fu kick 25.01.95

Eric Cantona was a magnificently gifted Footballer, and gave many outstanding performances in his career. He is probably best remembered though for his kung-fu kick aimed at a Crystal Palace fan at Selhurst Park in 1995. Fans often think they are safe behind the advertisement boards and can give all the abuse they want. Well Matthew Simmons wasn’t safe. Cantona kicked him in the chest before giving him a few punches on top of that. Simmons had given foul mouthed abuse to Cantona after running down eleven rows to the front of the stand. He did later say he needed the toilet and only said “Off you go Cantona”. Simmons sold his story to The Sun and Cantona received an eight-month ban. A press conference shortly after the incident led to the famous quote from the Frenchman ” When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much

Paolo Di Canio pushes over the referee 27.09.98

Di Canio has caused a lot of controversy in his career, but one of his darker moments in Football was when he pushed referee Paul Alcock to the ground during a match against Arsenal. Whilst playing for Sheffield Wednesday, Di Canio was sent off in the game at Hillsborough. He didn’t react very well to this and ended up shoving Alcock in the chest. This led to a comical reaction from the referee resulting in him falling over. This led to an eleven game ban and a £10,000 fine. He did redeem himself slightly three years later, when he had the opportunity to score against Everton as their ‘keeper Paul Gerrard was down injured. Instead of scoring he caught the ball and stopped play.

Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer fight each other whilst playing for the same team 02.04.05

In a Newcastle United game against Aston Villa, two Magpie midfielders ended up coming to blows with each other. The side were already losing 3-0 and had also had Steven Taylor sent off already. Bowyer and Dyer had a disagreement and started squaring up to each other. Both were dismissed and the disagreement continued off the pitch. It led to a rather awkward press conference from both players and manager Graeme Souness. Bowyer came off worse as he was shown to throw numerous punches whilst Dyer did not. It brought embarrassment to the whole Football club, and showed it probably isn’t best to have that sort of argument in front of 50,000 football fans.

Joey Barton assaults teammate Ousmane Dabo at training ground 01.05.07

Whilst both players were at Manchester City Barton attacked Dabo almost unprovoked leading to a suspended four-month sentence. Joey Barton had tackled Dabo, who responded by tackling him back. Dabo then recalls that “he struck me to the side of the head. I lost consciousness and, being on the ground, he jumped at me and went on hitting me in the face about 10 times”. Dabo later said that the attack made him look like the elephant man. Joey Barton does have a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing and received a 12 game ban at the end of the 2011-2012 season for various offences in one match.

Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final 09.07.06

In the 2006 World Cup final between France and Italy Zinedine Zidane stunned the world in what was his last ever game in professional football. Both players had already scored in the match and at 1-1 it headed into extra time. Cameras initially missed the action but replays showed that in the 110th minute, Zidane had remarkably headbutted Materazzi in the chest. It was quite unbelievable, and Zidane was sent off. Memorable pictures showed him walking past the World Cup trophy and down the tunnel. A sad end to a fantastic career. Italy went on to win the tournament after a penalty shoot-out. It was later revealed that when Materazzi was tugging Zidane’s shirt, the Frenchman said “If you want my shirt, I will give it to you afterwards,” to which Materazzi replied, “I would prefer your sister”. It still remains one of the most remarkable pieces of footage in Football, that shocked the world.


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