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Last Updated : Jun 08, 2018 08:14 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

FIFA World Cup 2018: Most controversial moments in the history of the World Cup

From Maradona’s hand of God to Zidane’s head butt, the beautiful game has its own share of controversy.

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Zidane’s headbutt (Germany 2006) | Zidane, who came out of retirement to lead France, gave them the lead in the final before Materazzi equalised for Italy. Zidane head butted the Italian in the second half of extra time after a heated argument. The referee immediately dismissed Zidane, who later explained that Materazzi had insulted a member of his family.
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Zidane’s headbutt (Germany 2006) | Zidane, who came out of retirement to lead France, gave them the lead in the final before Materazzi equalised for Italy. Zidane head butted the Italian in the second half of extra time after a heated argument. The referee immediately dismissed Zidane, who later explained that Materazzi had insulted a member of his family.

Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ (Mexico 1986) | Facing England in the quarterfinals in 1986, Maradona leapt high and punched an aerial ball past England keeper Peter Shilton to open the scoring for Argentina. What’s more incredulous is that Maradona followed that up by scoring a brilliant solo goal which many consider as the ‘Goal of the Century’. Maradona himself gave his first goal its infamous name by commenting after the game that the ball had gone in, “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God".
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Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ (Mexico 1986) | Facing England in the quarterfinals in 1986, Maradona leapt high and punched an aerial ball past England keeper Peter Shilton to open the scoring for Argentina. What’s more incredulous is that Maradona followed that up by scoring a brilliant solo goal which many consider as the ‘Goal of the Century’. Maradona himself gave his first goal its infamous name by commenting after the game that the ball had gone in, “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God".

Suarez bites Chiellini (Brazil 2014) | What’s even more stunning about this incident is that it wasn’t the first time that Suarez had bitten an opponent with Otman Bakkal and Branislav Ivanovic having already faced the ire of the Uruguayan’s teeth. Suarez even managed to avoid a red card for the incident. However following an investigation, FIFA banned the player from nine international matches and four months of any football related activity.
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Suarez bites Chiellini (Brazil 2014) | What’s even more stunning about this incident is that it wasn’t the first time that Suarez had bitten an opponent with Otman Bakkal and Branislav Ivanovic having already faced the ire of the Uruguayan’s teeth. Suarez even managed to avoid a red card for the incident. However following an investigation, FIFA banned the player from nine international matches and four months of any football related activity.

Rijkaard spits on Voellar (Italy 1990) | After picking up a booking that would ensure he missed the quarter-finals, an infuriated Frank Rijkaard spat at German striker Rudi Voellar’s hair as he made his way back to defend the resulting free-kick. A disgusted Voellar then got into a verbal exchange with Rijkaard and was subsequently booked too. After the free-kick, Voellar clattered into the Dutch keeper and Rijkaard tried to pull him to his feet by his ear before stamping on his boot. Voellar went down and the referee, who had enough by this point, showed a red card to Rijkaard before dismissing an incredulous Voellar too.
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Rijkaard spits on Voellar (Italy 1990) | After picking up a booking that would ensure he missed the quarter-finals, an infuriated Frank Rijkaard spat at German striker Rudi Voellar’s hair as he made his way back to defend the resulting free-kick. A disgusted Voellar then got into a verbal exchange with Rijkaard and was subsequently booked too. After the free-kick, Voellar clattered into the Dutch keeper and Rijkaard tried to pull him to his feet by his ear before stamping on his boot. Voellar went down and the referee, who had enough by this point, showed a red card to Rijkaard before dismissing an incredulous Voellar too.

Suarez’s super save (South Africa 2010) | There is no doubt that Suarez was the most hated footballer in Ghana in 2010 after he played a pivotal role in ending their World Cup dream. Suarez used his hands to deflect Dominic Adiyiah’s goal bound header off the line in extra time of their quarterfinal tie. Ghana were given a penalty and Suarez received a red card for his antics. However, Asamoah Gyan hit the bar on the resulting penalty and Uruguay went on to win the game on penalties knocking Ghana out of the competition.
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Suarez’s super save (South Africa 2010) | There is no doubt that Suarez was the most hated footballer in Ghana in 2010 after he played a pivotal role in ending their World Cup dream. Suarez used his hands to deflect Dominic Adiyiah’s goal bound header off the line in extra time of their quarterfinal tie. Ghana were given a penalty and Suarez received a red card for his antics. However, Asamoah Gyan hit the bar on the resulting penalty and Uruguay went on to win the game on penalties knocking Ghana out of the competition.

Ronaldo the instigator (Germany 2006) | Ronaldo and Rooney were Manchester United teammates back in 2006 when Portugal were playing England in the quarterfinals. Rooney looked to have stamped on Ricardo Carvalho and Ronaldo immediately intervened begging the referee to take action. Ronaldo’s incessant protests led to Rooney pushing the Portuguese ace in the chest which the referee spotted and immediately sent off Rooney. Ronaldo courted further controversy as he was pictured winking at the Portuguese bench following the incident.
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Ronaldo the instigator (Germany 2006) | Ronaldo and Rooney were Manchester United teammates back in 2006 when Portugal were playing England in the quarterfinals. Rooney looked to have stamped on Ricardo Carvalho and Ronaldo immediately intervened begging the referee to take action. Ronaldo’s incessant protests led to Rooney pushing the Portuguese ace in the chest which the referee spotted and immediately sent off Rooney. Ronaldo courted further controversy as he was pictured winking at the Portuguese bench following the incident.

Rivaldo’s playacting skills (South Korea and Japan 2002) | During a group game against Turkey, Brazilian playmaker Rivaldo decided to put his acting skills to the test. Turkish player Hakan Unsal passed the ball back to Rivaldo who was preparing to take a corner. The ball hit Rivaldo on his knee but the Brazilian went down holding his face and writhing in pain. The referee who missed the earlier part of the action sent off Unsal with a straight red card. Brazil went on to win the game with Rivaldo even scoring from the penalty spot. After the match Rivaldo was fined for feigning injury, however no match ban was issued for the Brazilian.
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Rivaldo’s playacting skills (South Korea and Japan 2002) | During a group game against Turkey, Brazilian playmaker Rivaldo decided to put his acting skills to the test. Turkish player Hakan Unsal passed the ball back to Rivaldo who was preparing to take a corner. The ball hit Rivaldo on his knee but the Brazilian went down holding his face and writhing in pain. The referee who missed the earlier part of the action sent off Unsal with a straight red card. Brazil went on to win the game with Rivaldo even scoring from the penalty spot. After the match Rivaldo was fined for feigning injury, however no match ban was issued for the Brazilian.

Battle of Nuremberg (Germany 2006) | The ruthless round of 16 encounter between Portugal and Netherlands saw referee Valentin Ivanov dish out four red cards and 16 yellow cards – the most in any World Cup match. The ill-tempered showdown was later labelled as the ‘Battle of Nuremberg’ and even has its own webpage on Wikipedia. Portugal won the match 1-0 but the card accumulation would come back to haunt them with two players suspended for the quarterfinals and the semifinals which they lost to France.
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Battle of Nuremberg (Germany 2006) | The ruthless round of 16 encounter between Portugal and Netherlands saw referee Valentin Ivanov dish out four red cards and 16 yellow cards – the most in any World Cup match. The ill-tempered showdown was later labelled as the ‘Battle of Nuremberg’ and even has its own webpage on Wikipedia. Portugal won the match 1-0 but the card accumulation would come back to haunt them with two players suspended for the quarterfinals and the semifinals which they lost to France.

First Published on Jun 8, 2018 08:14 pm
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