Worst tackle of all time? Denizlispor's Ozer Ozdemir sent off for horror challenge

  • Kobe Tong

Ozer Ozdemir has made headlines for all the wrong reasons this week.

Drawing comparisons to Nigel de Jong’s infamous tackle during the 2010 FIFA World Cup final isn’t exactly the glowing praise you look for as a defender, after all.

But just like the karate kick that De Jong landed into the chest of Xabi Alonso all those years ago, Ozdemir produced winces from football fans around the world with a truly atrocious tackle.

Gaziantep vs Denizlispor

That’s because the Turkish right-back was sent packing during Denizlispor’s 2-0 defeat to Gaziantep in the Super Lig on Sunday.

It was already a bad day at the office for Denizlispor as they trailed 1-0 within the opening 20 minutes courtesy of Nouha Dicko’s strike, but the worst was still to come.

Five minutes in the second-half, Ozdemir launched his foot into the stratosphere in an attempt to beat Junior Morais to the ball, only to plant his studs into the face of the unfortunate opponent.


One of the worst tackles of all time

It really does deserve its status as one of the worst tackles we’ve ever seen in the beautiful game and paved the way of Gaziantep to secure the three points with a last-minute penalty.

According to The Sun, Gaziantep confirmed that Morais needed seven stitches to repair the lacerations he received from such a stomach-curdling challenge.

For those who dare, you can check out the footage of Ozdemir’s horror tackle down below:

It’s like something out of WWE. Sheesh.

Player welfare concerns

Now, it must be said that kicks of this nature are always a risk in football and there have been plenty of dangerous and alarming incidents like these that have been completely accidental.

But in a week whether Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Rui Patricio received a serious head injury in the Premier League, the message of putting player welfare first couldn’t be anymore topical. 


As such, regardless of whether Ozdemir had in his mind that he could injure his opponent or not, the referee set the right example by sending the defender for an early bath.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not campaigning for a ball-below-head-height sport here, but make no mistake that player safety is far more important than the odd Dennis Bergkamp-esque touch.

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