Crazy football challenges

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It was always going to be a particularly spicy meeting when Emre faced Didier Zokora for the first time after the former was suspended for racially abusing the ex-Tottenham midfielder.

After the previous encounter between Fenerbache and Trabzonspor, Emre was convicted of calling the Ivory Coast international 'a dirty n*****', and was banned for two matches by the PFDK, a lenient punishment, given the severity of the crime.

Zokora clearly thought as much and went out of his way to hand out justice of his own when the two sides met over the weekend; delivering an eye-watering blow to the nether regions of Emre with the full force of his right boot.

Somehow, the referee deemed the challenge only to be worthy of a yellow card, and the only redness on show would have been around Emre's private parts.


This crazy challenge from Zokora prompted GMF to take a look back at some other memorable insane 'tackles'. Here's what we found...

Zinedine Zidane v Marco Materazzi

It would be fair to suggest that Zidane lost his head in this incident, if it was not so evident that his head was not missing at all - but instead embedded into the chest of Materazzi.

Zidane had hoped to bow out of football a World Cup winner for a second time, but instead tarnished his reputation with a moment of madness in the biggest game of them all.

Materazzi provoked the incident, uttering some rather rude comments about female members of the Zidane family, with the Frenchman taking exception and butting his forehead into his opponent's torso.


Nigel De Jong v Xabi Alonso

The 2010 World Cup final between Spain and Holland was very much Beauty v the Beast, and no incident highlighted this as perfectly as the clash between De Jong and Alonso.

Well, it wasn't so much a clash as an assault from De Jong, who summoned the spirit of Bruce Lee in Way of The Dragon - cutting down his opponent in mid-air with a kung-fu kick.

The incident was only worthy of a caution in the eyes of referee Howard Webb, while Spain went on the win the final by virtue of a late goal from Andres Iniesta.


Boris Johnson v Maurizio Gaudino

Given his throughbread upbringing via Eton and the Bullingdon Club alongside David Cameron and Gideon Osborne, one would have suspected Boris Johnson's pursuit of choice would be chasing an egg-shaped ball rather than a spherical one.

Yet the Conservative politician appeared in a charity football match in 2006 between celebrities and ex-pros from both England and Germany, and was provided with a unique opportunity to represent his country.

The encounter, however, will not be rememebred for the result, but more Johnson's challenge on Gaudino - up-ending the former German international after his pasty white legs had given way following a short sprint.

It was a challenge which suggested that, perhaps, rugby is more Johnson's forte after all. But it was clearly an incident that saw him earn a place in the hearts of many and, only last week, he won a second term as the Mayor of London. The mind boggles.


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