Between faults not whistled, hands that are shamelessly left lying around, or even in another register unjustified golden balls, there are quite a few injustices in football.
It makes us cringe, sometimes even shed a little tear (ok I’m exaggerating a bit), but in any case it sticks in our throats, we come back to the stories that have marked us the most.
1. 2008/2009 Champions League semi-final Barça vs Chelsea
We explain to you the famous “it’s a fucking disgrace” shouted by Didier Drogba in front of the camera, out of him after the injustices of this match.
Chelsea and Barcelona meet in the semi-final of the Champions League of the 2008/2009 season, which is obviously a game with huge stakes, there were 0-0 in the first leg in Barcelona, and the outcome of the return match was therefore very uncertain. We spoil the end a bit for you: Barça qualified after a draw (1-1), considered a huge hold-up for the Chelsea players, who had dominated the whole match.
The problem in this encounter is that the refereeing decisions were overwhelmingly in favor of the Catalans, and the Norwegian referee, Tom Henning Ovredo, is still receiving threats from Chelsea fans today (not cool). Indeed, three penalties in favor of Chelsea are refused, Abidal is expelled after a small clash on Anelka in the 66th minute,
The then Chelsea manager, Hiddink, even claims in an interview that it was the only time in his career when he suspected the match had been fixed. In short, whether we are for Barça or not, it must be said that this match is one of the greatest thefts in the history of the Champions League.
2. World Cup quarter-final: Ghana vs Uruguay
We talked about this injustice in many tops, and we will continue to do so until death ensues (yes yes).
Let’s go back to the facts: it was in the 2010 World Cup, Ghana, for the first time in its history, qualified for the quarter-finals of the World Cup (which is, unfortunately, exceptional for an African team). The Ghanaians face Suarez’s Uruguay in this quarter-final, and to everyone’s surprise, they manage to dominate the match. Dominic Adiyiah eventually finds the net with his header, but that goal is saved by Suarez who puts his hands up exactly as a goalie would to kick the ball out of the net.
Obviously, the fault is whistled and a penalty is awarded to Ghana… Nevertheless Asamoah Gyan sends it on the crossbar. The rest, we know, Uruguay wins the penalty shootout and eliminates Ghana who would have largely deserved their place in the semis.
Even today this episode makes us cringe.
3. Thierry Henry’s hand in 2009 against Ireland
On November 18, 2009, Thierry Henry made a mistake which allowed France to eliminate Ireland for the qualification of the world of 2010 (it is not nice to do that Titi…), this gesture of Henry remains across the throat of the Irish people and although it hurts us to say it, they are not wrong.
While Ireland managed to hurt our blues and take them to extra time after a goal from Robbie Keane scored in the 33rd minute, Thierry Henry “delivers his people” by narrowly controlling a ball that William Gallas manages to place with his head to the bottom of the net. The only small problem is that Henry clearly controlled the ball with his arm, which inflamed the hatred of all the Irish when they saw that Martin Hansson, the referee of the meeting, validated the goal despite everything.
Ireland is therefore eliminated, and after the meeting Henry himself admits that there is control over this, but does not apologize, which annoys the Irish even more. All this story to go and shit each other afterwards in South Africa… maybe it wasn’t worth it after all.
4. The Dutch referee who does not whistle Schumacher’s huge foul on Battitson (who goes out on a stretcher) during “the night of Seville 82”
The 1982 World Cup semi-final between Platini’s France and the German team from the FRG is also nicknamed “the night of Seville” as it is emblematic and painful for the blues.
That evening in Seville, in front of nearly 70,000 spectators, France was eliminated by Germany after a penalty shootout. But the worst part of all this is the unwhistled foul on Patrick Battitson made by German goalkeeper Schumacher. If he has since been nicknamed “the butcher of Seville”, it is not for nothing. Battitson had returned in the 50th minute of play, launched deep by Platini, he finds himself facing Schumacher who jumps and hits his face with his hip. After this shock, Battitson was taken out on a stretcher, unconscious. He breaks 3 teeth and breaks a vertebra following this shock, which however is not even whistled by the referee, without anyone understanding why.
5. “There was Penalty on Nilmar” the injustice that traumatized OL
April 13, 2005 is a painful memory for all OL supporters and you probably already know why. OL were in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and while Nilmar was mowed down in the penalty area by PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, referee Kim Milton Nielsen did not whistle.
The two teams were tied and we were already in overtime. As usual, we know what happened next: OL lost on penalties. This episode of great injustice is still a trauma for the Lyonnais.
6. Messi’s Golden Ball in 2010 (and a few others)
If we talk a bit about a subject other than refereeing errors, there are also unjustified Golden Balls. It may not seem like much, but the Ballon d’Or is a highly prized and well-recognized title that affirms a player’s “dominance” as the best player of the year. In short, having a golden ball is not nothing. And yet many of these titles are sometimes not really deserved by those who receive them.
This was the case of Messi in 2010, he had certainly scored 60 goals during this season, but for many, he did not deserve his title. Barça had lost against Inter in the semi-final of the Champions League, Argentina had been knocked out by Germany in the quarter-final of the World Cup, while alongside all that Sneijder, the player Dutchman had an incredible season. He had taken his team to the treble (Inter Milan) and to the World Cup final with the Netherlands.
For Messi’s Ballons d’Or, we could also say that Sadio Mané deserved the title more in 2019 or that Lewandowski also deserved it in 2020.
7. Ronaldo’s Golden Ball in 2013 (and a few others), everyone needs it
Because I already saw Ronaldo’s fans very happy reading this point, to remind the Portuguese also has some not too well-deserved Ballons d’Or.
And in particular that of 2013 that Ribéry should have won. Indeed Ribéry had just won 4 trophies and in particular that of the Champions League by being clearly the best player of his team. But the trophy will be awarded to CR7 for these 66 goals of the season (ok that’s not bad), when he hadn’t even won the A League that year… not very fair all that.
8. Luis Figo’s Golden Ball in 2000 (one last for the road)
And finally to finish on the history of the gold balls we can still quote that of Luis Figo in 2000, which for the blow is a total incomprehension. Most football fans thought Totti had to win that Golden Ball, or Zidane.
But it is Luis Figo, Zidane’s teammate at Real who receives the title. He himself admits not deserving this title and he will speak a few years later in the press by addressing Totti and saying: “sorry for having stolen this golden ball from you in 20000, you deserved it” . Another beautiful injustice of the golden ball, but we are starting to get used to it.
9. Giggs’ free-kick against Lille in 2007
Lille – Manchester 2007, Lille played one of the biggest matches in their history against Manchester United in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League.
Aware of the stakes, that evening the players of Lille try everything and manage to stand up to the English, until Giggs tries a trick and manages to score a free kick. Everyone believed that Giggs had cheated as the shot had been fired quickly. Even if the goalkeeping coach Jean-Pierre Mottet went to see Puel to tell him that he had to file a complaint, the Lille coach will not do so.
Manchester United will then win the second leg in a slightly more classy way (if you can put it like that), still 1-0, but this memory remains in the minds of Lille for whom Giggs was almost on the verge of cheating.
10. The match Germany Austria in the World Cup 86
We go back a little in time to tell you about one of the biggest scandals in the history of the World Cup. During the 1982 World Cup, Algeria was the first African country to qualify and they managed to beat the Germans, who were part of their group, in a very good match which ended in a 2-1.
To be qualified, all the results were favorable to them except a victory with more than one goal difference for Germany against Austria. Thus the two teams will arrange and make a non-match, in order to eliminate Algeria. In the 10th minute, Horst Hrubesch opened the scoring for the Germans and then the two teams ran in circles on the pitch.
This story is still one of football’s biggest scandals to this day, although with today’s rules, such an injustice cannot happen again. We had already told this story in the top on the biggest cheats in the history of football, as it engraved our memory.