Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game

There is an ugly side of the beautiful game of soccer. Yes, and some great professional soccer players and now coaches have done some things they wish they could take back. Here are a few of the more sensational acts that most of the actors wish they could reverse – I say most. Yes, there’s an ugly side to the beautiful game of soccer.

I believe Roy Keane, in his autobiography, refused to apologize for the revenge tackle on Harrlannd. That’s an exception though. Most top players regret some things they’ve done on the soccer pitch when their emotions got the best of them.

The game of soccer / football is competitive to say the least.  These are professionals getting paid, putting their bodies on the line, and where there’s a younger faster player waiting in the wings to replace them in most cases, a player will come to do nearly anything to win, and anything to protect their name or themselves.  At times, emotions get the better of them and a player will do something he wishes he could take back.

Roy Keane malicious tackle – be aware this is a vicious tackle and not for youngsters to watch.  Really, a part of the game that you don’t wish to see. Just an ugly part of the beautiful game in this tackle by Keane.

Frank Rijkaard spitting on Rudy Voller

Rijkaard later stated that it was his fault: “That day I was wrong. There was no insult. I always had much respect for Rudi Völler. But I went berserk when I saw that red card. I talked to him after the match and I apologized. I’m very happy that he accepted. I have no bad feeling about him now. We even posed for a very funny advert together, years after.”

Peter Crouch using the player’s pony tail as a climbing device.

Eric Cantona’s karate kick into the stands.

Kieron Dyer Versus Lee Bowyer, no this isn’t an undercard bout, but two teammates dueling it out and during the match no less.

Ricardo Clark kicks Carlos Ruiz during the Dynamo’s 3-0 victory over FC Dallas. A similar kick to Cantona’s in a way.

Perhaps some of the ugliness of the game is gone. Maybe the new generation of footballers have a different way of looking at the game. Less revenge tackles and so forth. However, the game is intense, emotional, competitive and often the crowd can impact what a player feels and does on the pitch.

And hopefully the referees and the leagues will demand more protection for the creative players, like Neymar and Messi, who make the game so enjoyable to watch.