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Six of the worst: Football's most dangerous tackles of all time
11:45am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Sport
In the wake of Callum McManaman’s horror tackle on Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara, Chief Sports Writer Scott Wilson selects the six worst challenges of all time
6. MARTIN TAYLOR on Eduardo (2008)
Just three minutes had gone when Birmingham defender Martin Taylor went in high and late against Arsenal striker Eduardo. He suffered a compound fracture to his left fibula and a dislocation of his ankle, and was never the same player again.
Sky Television, who were showing the game live, opted not to show a replay of the foul as they deemed it too unpalatable.
5. BENJAMIN MASSING on Claudio Caniggia (1990)
You might not recognise the name of Cameroon defender Benjamin Massing, but it’s a safe bet you’ll remember his aerial assault on Argentine striker Claudio Caniggia in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup.
Caniggia successfully hurdled two dreadful challenges from Cameroon players, but was unable to avoid a third as Massing came thudding in.
The indelible image of the incident is the sight of Massing’s boot spiralling into the air as he clattered into his opponent.
4. BEN THATCHER on Pedro Mendes (2006)
Ben Thatcher was involved a number of unsavoury incidents during his career, but it was his clash with Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes that earned him instant notoriety.
With the ball running out for a throw in, Thatcher planted his elbow into Mendes’ face, propelling his opponent into the advertising hoardings.
Mendes required oxygen at the pitchside and suffered a seizure; Thatcher was handed an eightmatch ban, with a further 15-match suspension suspended for two years.
3. PAUL GASCOIGNE on Gary Charles (1991)
While most horror tackles result in an injury to an opponent, this was a famous incident where the player committing the foul came off worst.
The 1991 FA Cup final had barely got going when Paul Gascoigne lunged into the back of Gary Charles’ leg with his studs showing. Gascoigne’s face immediately contorted in pain, and the rupture to his cruciate ligaments not only ended his Cup final, but also signalled the beginning of the end of his career.
2. HARALD SCHUMACHER on Patrick Battiston (1982)
West German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher became one of the most hated men in football when he laid out French substitute Patrick Battiston in the semi-final of the 1982 World Cup.
As Battiston sprinted through on goal, Schumacher raced from his area and thudded a kung-fu style kick into his opponent’s chest.
Battiston was knocked unconscious, briefly slipped into a coma and lost his two front teeth; incredibly, referee Charles Corver waved play on and Schumacher picked himself up to take a goal kick.
1. ROY KEANE on Alf-Inge Haaland (2001)
In 1997, Roy Keane damaged his cruciate ligaments and, while he lay prone on the ground, Alf-Inge Haaland loomed over him and accused him of feigning injury.
Keane’s revenge was four years in the making, but he extracted it in the most emphatic fashion imaginable.
Faced with Haaland again, the Manchester United midfielder raised his studs and crunched his leg into his opponent’s knee.
“He f***** me over and my attitude is an eye for an eye,” said Keane in his autobiography.