When it comes to football, there are moments that can define a player’s career, irrespective of what else they achieve in the game.
John Terry will be hoping his act of stupidity for Chelsea against Barcelona in last night’s Champions League semi-final, second leg at the Nou Camp is not his lasting legacy. His teammates went someway to instantly erasing the memory with a stunning performance that ensured an aggregate victory.
The England skipper isn’t the only player to let the red mist fall in front of his eyes though, with a handful of others falling foul of the officials after a moment of madness that they would rather forget.
And, in dubious honour of Terry’s mad moment in Spain, we pick five of football’s craziest red cards. Do you agree with our choices?
5. Duncan Ferguson – Wigan Athletic v Everton (2006)
Ferguson saw red eight times in the Premier League, but this moment of madness against the Latics was one of the craziest in the history of the English top flight.
Just six minutes after coming off the bench for David Moyes’ side, Ferguson floored Paul Scharner with a right hook in the six-yard box, leaving the Austrian on the floor and the Scottish striker walking for an early bath.
4. Roy Keane – Manchester United v Manchester City (2001)
The only ‘tackle’ to make the list, Roy Keane picked his moment for revenge on Alf-Inge Haaland, hammering the Norwegian international in his knee three-and-a-half years after their feud begand.
Haaland had accused Keane of feigning injury when he attempted to foul the then Leeds United midfield, when the Irish international had in fact damaged cruciate ligaments in his knee.
As he admitted in his autobiography, Keane remembered the incident, and set out to intentionally take down Haaland when the opportunity arose. His tackle would play its part in ending the players career.
3. Lee Bowyer & Kieron Dyer – Newcastle United v Aston Villa (2005)
It’s not often that two players on the same team end up fighting amongst themselves, and usually it’s a relatively short argument before a separation and the game continues.
However, Bowyer and Dyer took it to the next level when they clashed at St. James’ Park, with Gareth Barry and Stephen Carr struggling to separate the two during an almighty struggle.
The referee had little choice but to dismiss the pair, with captain Alan Shearer helping Bowyer off the pitch to join Dyer in the dressing room.
2. David Beckham – England v Argentina (1998)
He might be the darling of football around the world, but 14 years ago Beckham was vilified as public enemy No.1 in England after a moment of pure madness against Argentina at France ’98.
After forcing his way into Glenn Hoddle’s side during the tournament, the Three Lions faced the Argentines in a last 16 clash that would eventually be decided on penalties after a 2-2 draw in St-Etienne.
Diego Simeone got one over on ‘Becks’ on the night, and after fouling the right midfielder, collapsed to the fall following a quite pitiful kick-out from the current LA Galaxy superstar. Referee Kim Milton Nielsen had no other option but to brandish the red card, and the rest, as they say, is history.
1. Zinedine Zidane – France v Italy (2006)
One of football’s greatest ever players made the most unbelievable exit from the world stage, head-butting Marco Materazzi in extra-time during the World Cup final.
Zidane had led his country to glory eight years earlier, and was enjoying a renaissance in a French side that denied the odds to make it to the showpiece event in Germany.
But, after scoring to give Les Bleus the lead in the first-half, his professional career was over on 110 minutes, as the country went on to lose on penalties. What a way to go!
Think we’ve missed out some crackers – have your say below…