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Top “Red Card” moments in FIFA World Cups

The FIFA World Cup is the ultimate winning dream for any player or a team so sometimes players do anything to win and by doing that they also cross the line. But the men in black, the referees are always on their toes and they normally do not allow such unwanted acts to happen. It is not that always the referees are right while giving the red cards to the players, but still they are doing their duty to say the least.

We have found out a few of the ‘best’ red card moments from the past FIFA World Cups which are still alive in the minds of soccer fans, so here they are.

Diego Maradona Vs Brazil (1982, Spain)

Argentina was under tremendous pressure to win this game as they have drawn the game against Brazil and Italy in the second round of the world cup, then Italy defeated Argentina by 2-1 and this was the do or die game for the Argentineans. Brazil was already leading by 3-0 and its player Joao Batista da Silva fouled one of the Argentine players but that went unnoticed by the referee. Under a huge pressure already, Maradona decided to take the things on his own and played a dangerous kick. This moment was not only the end Maradona in the match, but that also sent Argentina packing out of the world cup that year.

Jose Batista Vs Scotland (1986, Mexico)

This is a world record of claiming the red card. In just 56 seconds after the start of the game Jose Batista got the red card!

2 Red Cards in one match (Netherlands Vs West Germany, 1990, Italy)

Two of the most famous footballers of the 1990s were involved in this. The Dutch, Frank Rijkaard and the then West German Rudi Voller. First Rijkaard was given a yellow card for heavily tackling Voller and immediately Voller did the same to Rijkaar. The matter did not stop there. Voller got a red card and Rijkaar spit on him. He too then got the red card and even while going off the field Rijkaard again spit on Voller.

Wayne Rooney Vs Portugal (2006, Quarterfinal, Germany)

Two Manchester United friends were foes in this match and that showed too. Many of the Portugal players were suspended prior to this match and England was looking all set to win the game but the game became close. Ricardo Carvalho tried to stop Rooney’s advance and Rooney unintentionally kicked Carvalho’s groins. This made Cristiano Ronaldo asking for a red card, he did not get his wish fulfilled at that very moment, but Rooney then trying to go back to his position pushed Ronaldo, again without any intention, and the result? Red Card!

3 Red Cards in one match (Italy Vs USA, 2006, Germany)

The match was ended in 1-1 draw, but USA won on the Red Card account. First Daniele De Rossi knocked Brian McBride bleed out and he was shown Red Card. Later De Rossi got suspended for the next four games. The two USA players shown Red Cards were Eddie Pope and Pirlo. Although Daniele De Rossi played his next match in that world cup was the final against France and scored a crucial penalty and Italy went on to win the world cup.

David Beckham Vs Argentina (1998, France)

The Argentine captain Diego Simone challenged Beckham to kick him on his back and he did just that. Despite the kick was not dangerous, but the referee was right there and he saw it in a different way and Beckham had to leave the scene. England lost the match in penalties and Beckham got all the blame.

4 Red Cards (Portugal Vs Netherlands, 2006, Germany)

This is the ‘game of disgrace’ as not less than 16 yellow cards and 4 red cards were shown. Both the teams forgot that they are representing their nations in a world event. They were gesturing, diving and were offensive to each other.

Zidane Vs Italy (2006, Germany)

The game was all but gone for Zidane and his team France and this was expected to be his last game also. Just ten minutes were left Marco Materazzi said something about Zidane’s sister and Zidane’s (in) famous ‘head butt’ came out! Zidane was shown the red card.


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David Whisler, the maestro of editing at Sportycious, brings a touch of panache to the world of sports journalism. With an eagle eye for detail and a flair for enthralling storytelling, David ensures Sportycious remains the go-to destination for readers seeking an exhilarating and enlightening experience. When not juggling commas and semicolons, you'll find David enthusiastically supporting his favourite teams and indulging in his own sporting escapades.

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