The reputation of Nigel de Jong precedes the man himself like a bad stench, lingering in the nostrils.
The Dutch midfielder has made a name for himself in professional football as a combative enforcer that teams look to bring in to give more freedom for their attacking players.
The Los Angeles Galaxy decided they wanted the 31-year-old's brand of physical play at the heart of their midfield, bringing in De Jong after he terminated his contract at AC Milan. However, despite being 31, it seems that De Jong has still not learnt how to tackle.
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That fact was evidenced last night by a disgraceful challenge that literally left an opponent in a wheelchair.
The Galaxy faced the Portland Timbers on Sunday and were down 1-0 late in the second half when Darlington Nagbe - the Timbers' best player - stepped inside another LA player and tried to take the ball past De Jong. Except he couldn't, because the Dutchman decided to plant his studs firmly in the shin of the playmaker, sending Nagbe to the turf in agony.
Somehow, the referee only saw fit to give De Jong a yellow card for his horror lunge that may well have broken his opponent's leg.
Nagbe was spotted leaving the stadium in a wheelchair, with no ability to put any weight on his injured left leg.
The decision to only give De Jong a yellow draws comparisons to the 2010 World Cup Final, where the former Manchester City midfielder studded Xabi Alonso in the chest only for Howard Webb to caution the Ajax product.
The two teams then went at it on Twitter, with the Timbers rightly incensed by the terrible tackle, which the Galaxy account seemingly tried to joke away with a reference to the Portland owner, Merritt Paulson.
In an interview after the game, Fox Sports 1 analyst Stuart Holden was absolutely furious with De Jong's tackle.
"I’m sitting here and now I’m seeing this challenge first hand on Darlington Nagbe, and it makes me feel sick. Because I know what Darlington Nagbe is going through," Holden said, via MLS Soccer.
"We don’t need it in the game. It’s horrific. It’s horrible. And he’s going to get retroactive punishment."
Holden has a history with the Dutch destroyer, as De Jong broke his leg in another bad challenge during a friendly match between the United States and Holland back in 2010.
Thankfully, Major League Soccer has a disciplinary committee that can, and will, take further action against De Jong for the tackle. The Galaxy midfielder will almost certainly receive a three-match ban for the challenge, despite it being seen and "dealt with" by the referee during the game. That's one thing the Premier League should certainly look at taking from our American brothers.
Hopefully, Nagbe's injury isn't too serious and he won't be out for the rest of the season.
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