17 times footballers have broken down in tears on the pitch


It was difficult to watch Son Heung-min after the Tottenham forward saw the extent of Andre Gomes’s injury during the Premier League clash against Everton on Sunday afternoon.

The South Korea international was left horrified after seeing Gomes’s fractured ankle - and he struggled to hold back the tears.

The emotional Son, who was then shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson for the challenge which inadvertently led to Gomes’s sickening injury, isn’t the first famous footballer to cry on the pitch - and he certainly won’t be the last.

It goes without saying that crying on the pitch - or off it, for that matter - is nothing for anybody to be ashamed of.

The vast majority of people in Son’s shoes would have reacted in exactly the same way.

There have been lots of examples of footballers crying on the pitch for various reasons - and here are some of the most famous examples…

Paul Gascoigne

One of the most famous examples of a player crying on a football pitch, Paul Gascoigne began to cry after receiving a yellow card in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals against West Germany.

This was the moment he realised he wouldn’t be able to play in the final if England got there (which, of course, they didn’t).

This was also the moment the country fell in love with the man affectionately nicknamed ‘Gazza’.


John Terry

Many people often feel sorry for the footballer in question crying - but this wasn’t the case for poor old John Terry, who got emotional after missing a crucial penalty for Chelsea against Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final.

Terry could have won the cup, but he f***** it up, as Man Utd fans have cruelly reminded him on countless occasions over the past 11 years.


Thierry Henry

Marc-Vivien Foe tragically passed away after collapsing on the pitch during Cameroon’s 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia.

Foe’s untimely death left the whole football community absolutely devastated, including Thierry Henry, who was seen in tears before the start of the other semi-final between France and Turkey.


Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo was just 19 years old during the 2004 European Championships, which Portugal hosted.

And when his team lost the final against the unfancied Greece in one of the biggest shocks in recent international football history, the young Manchester United starlet was left utterly crestfallen.


David Seaman

There can’t be many worse feelings as a footballer than letting your country down in a World Cup match.

It’s harsh to blame David Seaman for England’s exit at the 2002 World Cup, but he will always be remembered for allowing *that* Ronaldinho free-kick to sail over his head and into the back of the net.

English goalkeeper David Seaman (C) is consolated

Carsten Jancker

Bayern Munich’s players were left utterly shocked and devastated after Manchester United completed one of the most remarkable comebacks in Champions League history at the end of the 1999 final.

Sammy Kuffour was seen punching the ground in frustration, while 6ft 4in striker Carsten Jancker was seen in floods of tears.



Pele cemented his place in football folklore by winning the 1958 World Cup with Brazil at the age of 17.

The teenage sensation was photographed crying on the shoulder of Didi as teammates Gilmar and Orlando congratulated him on a stunning performance.



After drawing 1-1 against Switzerland in their opening 2018 World Cup match, Brazil could ill-afford to slip up against Costa Rica in their second game.

But after 90 minutes, the scores were still level at 0-0. Brazil were getting anxious, but goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar sealed all three points for the Seleção.

It all got a bit much for Neymar, who broke down in tears.


Jack Wilshere

Arsenal were the overwhelming favourites to win the 2011 Carling Cup final against Birmingham City - but they ended up losing 2-1 after a calamitous 89th-minute mix-up between Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny gifted Obafemi Martins the winning goal.

Wilshere, just 19 at the time, was denied his first trophy as an Arsenal first-team player and he struggled to hold back the tears.

Gianluigi Buffon

In November 2017, Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals after losing to Sweden in the play-offs. This was the first World Cup the Azzurri had failed to reach since 1958.

Gianluigi Buffon, Italy’s legendary goalkeeper, felt it more than most.

“I’m sorry that my final game coincided with us not qualifying for the World Cup,” he said after the match/ "I am not sorry for myself but all of Italian football."

Italy v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg

Mario Balotelli

Another Italy international who shed tears on the pitch was Mario Balotelli following his country’s 4-0 defeat in the Euro 2012 final against Spain.

The striker, who had scored three goals during the tournament, sobbed following the conclusion of the biggest match of his career.

Spain v Italy - UEFA EURO 2012 Final

David Beckham

David Beckham brought the curtain down on his illustrious career in 2013 - and was given the send-off he deserved by his Paris Saint-Germain teammates.

He was subbed off with just over 10 minutes remaining in PSG’s match against Brest, and everything came to a standstill as the fans and players saluted one of the game’s greats.

Walking off the pitch for the final time is an emotional moment for any footballer - and Beckham’s tears were a mix of happiness and sadness.


Luis Suarez

Liverpool knew they’d blown their chances of winning the 2013/14 title following their infamous 3-3 draw away at Crystal Palace - the match now referred to as ‘Crystanbul’.

The Reds surrendered a three-goal lead at Selhurst Park and it all became too much for Luis Suarez, who sobbed with his shirt over his head as Steven Gerrard tried to get him away from the Sky Sports cameras.

David Luiz

Brazil’s 7-1 defeat against Germany at the 2014 World Cup is one of the most shocking matches in football history.

And David Luiz, who was dreadful, was distraught after the final whistle along with his teammates and millions of other Brazilians.


Loris Karius

Loris Karius turned in one of the most disastrous individual performances in Champions League history during the 2018 final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

The German goalkeeper, who had gifted goals to Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, was heartbroken as he said sorry to the Liverpool supporters in Kiev.

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

Mohamed Salah

And in the same final, Mohamed Salah left the pitch in tears after his Champions League final was prematurely ended following a challenge from Sergio Ramos.

The Liverpool striker feared in that moment that his dream of playing in the World Cup with Egypt was also over.


Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has suffered heartbreak with Argentina on several occasions but he was inconsolable after the 2016 Copa America final.

The Barcelona forward missed the first of Argentina’s penalties in the shoot-out as Chile sealed a famous victory.

It was such a bitter pill for Messi to swallow that he ended up announcing his retirement from international football - before reversing the decision weeks later.

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