Luis Fabiano retires: Remembering when a referee 'dived' to justify sending him off

Luis Fabiano retires: Remembering when a referee 'dived' to justify sending him off

Former Brazil striker Luis Fabiano has retired from football.

Fabiano confirmed his decision via social media on Friday evening, having battled injuries for a number of years.

In his prime, though, he was one of Europe’s most formidable strikers, bagging 33 goals in 46 for Sevilla in the 2007/08 season. Across the six years he spent at the La Liga side, he found the net on more than 100 occasions. His 28 goals in 45 appearances for the Selecao isn’t bad going either.

Aside from his eye for goal, Fabiano also had a reputation for being one the most physical frontmen around. It was a well-earned one, too, with Fabiano involved in more than a few altercations in his time, including a wild brawl with Zaragoza’s Carlos Diogo in the dying seconds of a 2007 La Liga clash – which you can see below.

Watch: A fight breaks out between Luis Fabiano and Carlos Diogo during Zaragoza vs Sevilla

Some 10 years after his clash with Diogo, though, Fabiano was completely stitched up by a referee while playing for Vasco da Gama in his homeland. 

Fabiano’s hot-headedness came to the fore again during his side’s fixture with Flamengo in March 2017, as he was cautioned for aggressively disagreeing with the official’s decision. What followed next, however, was pretty unique, to say the least.

Quiz: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

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Wikipedia Page No.1

Who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000?

Fed up with Fabiano’s complaints, the referee decides to pretend that the striker has headbutted him in a clear act of simulation.

As you’ll see from the clip below, Fabiano never makes a move towards the official, and it’s immediately obvious that no contact is made. This doesn’t stop the referee from stumbling backwards in a comical fashion for some distance, as though he has been struck by Fabiano. 

Once he’s happy with the amount of time that he’s feigned an injury, the official returns to show Fabiano a straight red card in the most baffling of circumstances.

Video: Referee sends Luis Fabiano off after pretending to have been headbutted

It’s the sort of blatant act of simulation that VAR would be expected to sort out these days, although how exactly that would work when it’s the referee himself trying to take a dive is anyone’s guess. 

Absolute madness!

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