Brutal fouls in football history

Top 10 brutal fouls in football history

Football is a team sport game that involves kicking the ball to score a goal. Football is known as soccer and rugby in many parts of the world. This game is one of the most popular spectator games in the world, watched by millions of people on television.

The history of football is quite interesting. There are conflicting explanations for the origin of this game. The most modern form of football is derived from ancient games played in Greece and Rome, whereas, according to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game ‘cuju’ is the earliest form of football, for which there are scientific pieces of evidence. Eventually, two games emerged – one is primarily a kicking game, associated with soccer or association football, and the other is called rugby, were carrying the ball in hand and tackling it is permitted.

Rules followed in football

This game comes in with a various set of basic football rules. The rules are a must to be followed by the players who are playing on the field. The rules consist of several football fouls and penalties which a player must avoid.

  • A football game is of 90 minutes, which is further divided into two halves of 45 minutes each, followed by a 15 minutes break in between called half time.
  • Each team consists of 11 players on the field, including the goalkeeper, who can tackle the ball with any part of his body within 18 yards.
  • Each team can name up to 7 substitute players. The substitution can be done at any time during the game.
  • The game has one referee and two assistant referees. The referee takes acts as the timekeeper and makes decisions which are supposed to be made, such as foul play, free kicks, penalties, and add on time at the end of each half required. The assistant referees’ work is to check the offsides and assist the referee in all decisions.
  • If the teams are on the level, i.e., have the same score, there is a penalty shootout that takes place to reach a decision.
  • The offside rule is one of the most important football rules in the game. Offside can be called when the attacking player is in front of the last defender when the pass is played. The player must be behind the last defender while the pass is played, to be outside.

These are a few rules which the players should follow while playing the game. Foul play can cause the players to take a penalty, which, in turn, is not good for the whole team.

Penalty cards and how they work

Penalty cards are used to warn, disapprove or penalize a player. They are generally used to signify football fouls a player has done. There are yellow and red cards in football. Yellow cards are used to warn the player. The player can continue playing the game until the second yellow card is shown and then a red card, which means the player must leave the field immediately and take no further part in the game. The player cannot be replaced by a substitute too. The red cards in football are generally used by the referee to signify that the player has been sent off. A red card is shown to a player after receiving two yellow cards for minor offenses but, a red card can also be shown to a player directly because of some serious offense or football fouls (violent conduct or purposeful obstructions).

Ten most brutal fouls seen in football history

Though football is a game with over millions of viewership, the main topic of concern is the serious football fouls. Many serious fouls in football history have been committed by many players.

  • Kevin Muscat, an Australian international defender, took over Adrian Zahra, the attacker, who was running down with the ball, but before he could cross his marker to shoot the goal, he was tackled down by Muscat, who rushed into Zahra’s right leg and left him with a deep knee injury.
  • Roy Keane, a player of Manchester United, took down Haaland by lunging at his right knee with his right foot and smashing all his weight into it. Unsurprisingly, Keane was given a red card and was asked to pay a certain amount of fine, followed by a ban for the next five matches.
  • Nigel De Jong, a Dutch footballer, had taken down on Xabi Alonso by kicking right into his chest while tackling an aerial ball. The referee surprisingly did not give a red card but booked de Jong for this (gave a yellow card). This is yet one of the worst football fouls ever in a World Cup final.
  • The Belgian midfielder, Axel Witsel, is responsible for one of the worst fouls in football history. The Polish international defender, Marcin Wasilewski, was lunging over the ball when Witsel came sprinting and crashed Marcin’s lower leg with full weight, making his lower leg fling away from the upper one. His leg was left snapped clearly into two.
  • Ben Thatcher, a Manchester City player, used his elbow to smash down Pedro Mendes, a Portsmouth player. Pedro Mendes was hurt so badly that he had to leave the game and was admitted to the hospital.
  • Birmingham City’s Martin Taylor committed one of the worst football fouls in recent memory, literally snapping Arsenal midfielder Eduardo’s leg into half.
  • England’s Wayne Rooney was sent off for stomping the opponent player’s thighs and in between them, for which Rooney was told to not play the rest of the game. The England team got eliminated in the playoffs.
  • This football foul is marked as the worst foul in the history of the football game. When Patrick Battiston, a French player, was taken down by Germany’s Herald Schumacher, who rushed out and crashed into Battiston. This caused Battiston to go into a coma and damage his vertebrate. Shockingly, no red card was given for this.


Sports should be something with competitive vibes, but also a cleaner and enjoyable environment should be maintained. The fouls done by the players are so brutal, it is no less than a horror show. There are many more horrific fouls seen in the game of football, which further causes controversy and can take down a player’s career.


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