Cesc Fabregas was shown a straight red card against West Brom on Monday night for intentionally pinging the ball into a crowd of Albion players.
The Spaniard's dismissal was bizarre, but where does it rank amongst the top ten most ridiculous red cards ever? Let's have a look at the sort of company Fabregas' silliness is in:
10. HAKAN UNSAL, BRAZIL v TURKEY (2002)
Probably the most iconic red card on the list. Unsal kicked the ball to Rivaldo who was waiting to take a corner in this World Cup Group game. The ball hit the unsuspecting Brazilian on the thigh, but he fell to floor gripping his face, which convinced the South Korean referee to send Unsal off.
9. SAMUEL INKOOM, DNIPRO v KARAPTY (2011)
Most will probably roll their eyes at this soft dismissal. Inkoom was being substituted and removed his shirt as he was walking off the pitch, presumably to cool off. The man in charge clearly felt he had to comply with every letter of the law and showed him a red card, meaning his substitute could not come on.
8. FABIAN ORELLANA, CELTA VIGO v BARCELONA (2015)
Sergio Busquets look away now. Earlier this year, Orellana became frustrated when the Barca midfielder was taking too long on a free kick. The Celta Vigo winger threw a few blades of grass towards the Spaniard and, as is Busquets' nature, he hit the deck. The referee duly complied and sent Orellana off.
7. ALEX SONG, CAMEROON v CROATIA (2014)
Song's outburst was just one of the several controversial moments the 2014 World Cup produced. The West Ham midfielder was shown a straight red for dragging his elbow down Mario Mandzukic's spine as the Croatian sprinted past him.
6. EDEN HAZARD, SWANSEA v CHELSEA (2013)
Chelsea were trailing the Swans in the Capital One Cup semi-final at the Liberty Stadium and, as Hazard rushed to retrieve the ball, a Swansea ball boy cockily jumped on it, refusing to give it to the Belgian. Comedy ensured. Hazard freed the ball, but, in doing so, kicked the young lad in the ribs. Referee Chris Foy deemed it as violent conduct and the Chelsea star was sent for an early bath.
5. ESTEBAN ALVARADO, AJAX v AZ ALKMAAR (2011)
Most will feel a level of sympathy with this one. Alvarado noticed a pitch invader about to attack him from behind, but the AZ goalkeeper was a step ahead. He turned around and booted the fan to the ground. Not content with flooring him, the Costa Rican continued his assault. Alvarado was shown a straight red, but what exactly is he meant to do in that situation? Maybe battering a fan is not the correct answer, but it's certainly the funniest.
4. YOUSSOUF MULUMBU, WEST HAM v WEST BROM (2013)
Mulumbu's red card is the ultimate depiction of a footballer just losing his rag. West Ham's Gary O'Neil extended his arm and barely touched Mulumbu, but, for whatever reason, this was enough for the red mist to descend. The enraged Congolese midfielder picked the ball up and volleyed it with the apparant intent to remove O'Neil's head from his shoulders. Needless to say, he received a straight red for his hilarious outburst.
3. NEYMAR, SANTOS v COLO COLO (2011)
Another bizarre decision rather than an eruption of rage. After scoring a brilliant solo goal, the 19-year-old Brazilian chose to celebrate by collecting a mask from a fan and putting it on, admittedly the wrong way. He was shown a second yellow and was given his marching orders. A decision made all the more outrageous given that the mask was of Neymar's face. Disgusted by the decision, the Barca star launched the mask at the referee. Did you not know paper cuts were deadly in Brazil?
2. KIERON DYER AND LEE BOWYER, NEWCASTLE v ASTON VILLA (2005)
Player fights are always funny - within reason - especially when the players are on the same team. Newcastle teammates Dyer and Bowyer started scrapping on the pitch after Dyer had insulted his midfield partner's ability. The two threw punches at one another in front of 50,000 fans at St James' Park, and Bowyer emerged with a ripped shirt. They 'made up' soon after the game, but not before being sent off and reducing their side to nine-men in the 3-0 defeat.
1. FABRICIO, INTERNACIONAL v YPIRANGA (2015)
Many people argue that fans pay their money and therefore have the right to let a player know if they are unhappy with their performance. Fabricio does not care for that mind-set. In fact, you could say he thinks the complete opposite. Internacional fans started getting on the Brazilian's back, and he did not like it.
Fabricio forgot about the game and decided instead to give the middle-finger to thousands of home fans. He then tore off his Internacional shirt and threw it to the ground. The referee showed him the red card, but Fabricio could not care less. He stormed off the pitch, pushing all of his teammates and coaches away from him. Fabricio has since been loaned out, and his Internacional future looks unsurprisingly non-existent.
Have we missed any from our list? Let us know below!
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