Mistakes are to defenders what jargon is to politicians: a solution to all their problems with relatively little risk of being bullied. Top 10 followers of the assassin tackle who have marked the history of football and the joints of their opponents.
1. Carlos Mozer
Triple Champion of France with OM, the Brazilian central defender has long literally and figuratively walked on his opponents. Carlos Mozer was a strange mix between elegance, technique and strokes. As if a prima ballerina discreetly approached you to give you one. A true Mozer Fucker. In 118 matches at OM he received 29 yellow cards and 3 red cards, others have done better, but that’s already honorable.
2. Eric Di Meco
Ah Di Meco, known as “the mower” of OM. The Marseille left-back had a physique as dry as his hair was oily (it was good for body balance, by the way). Despite his small strike look, Di Meco ruled the law in his lane with constant pressing on the joints of his opponents (RIP). Even today, he continues to distribute his tackles on the field of RMC and Bein, but from a distance this time.
3. Marco Materazzi
Marco Materazzi is one of the greatest of the greats, he is one of the first in the class. When you think of a defensive guard dog that spends its time barking and biting, Materrazzi comes across as a no-brainer. The Inter Milan stopper did honor to his position by stopping the opposing attacks by all means. Headbutt to Marc Zoro, kick in the parts of Shevchenko, Marco Materrazzi also knew how to distribute low blows and insults, just to unpin his opponents and thus be able to play the victims (Zidane will remember this elsewhere, and U.S. too). During his career, the player received more than 100 yellow cards (1 every 4 games) and 14 red. Hats off to the artist!
4. Andoni Goikoetxea
The Basque hitchhiker has well deserved his nickname “Bilbao’s Butcher”. Andoni Goikoetxea has in particular to his credit the knee of Bernd Schuster and the ankle of Diego Maradona obtained on a monstrous tackle from behind. An attack that only earned him a simple yellow card, while the Argentinian had to stay away from the field for more than 3 months. Their reunion 9 months later ended in a general fight. Logic.
5. Cyril Rool
Cyril Rool’s rough game is anything but a legend. The left defender passed by Nice, Monaco or OM has accumulated 186 yellow cards and 27 red for 444 games played, the highest average of all nags in history, with 0.42 yellow cards per game! For the record, the player obviously had a slight weakness for the Intertoto Cup (a former European cup) with 2 reds and 1 yellow in just 7 games… Clean!
6. Jaap Stam
The Dutchman had a good guilty face: a sort of cross between Puygrenier for the mop of hair and Jason Statham for the virile build. The best central defender in the history of PES notably raged at Manchester United for 3 seasons, the time to earn the nickname “Shin Breaker” or “Serial Killer”, before heading to Lazio where his physique stuck perfectly to the local atmosphere.
7. Martin Keown
The former Gunners was the archetype of the English-style central defender of the 90s. Hard on the man, rough in his interventions, Martin Keown was a bit of the local butcher, the creepy guy behind his big eyebrows, who his day cutting pieces of barbaque with a blank stare. Except that he, the cutlets, he cut them on the calves of his opponents. He and Tony Adams were arguably the best pair of centre-backs in Arsenal history. Even Pascal Cygan cannot compete.
8. Claudio Gentile
Don’t be fooled by his name, Claudio Gentile was anything but a nice guy (really, trust me). The Juve defender was an Italian defender, rough, vicious and never skimping on borderline tackles. His finest masterpiece remains the meeting between Italy and Argentina during the 1982 World Cup. Gentile personally took care of Diego Maradona throughout the match, multiplying small faults and attacks. He will only receive a simple yellow card for all of his work. It must be said that in 1982, the arbitration resembled that of a game of FIFA 12 (and again).
PS: Battiston’s teeth still remember it. Gentile will one day have this little phrase which alone sums up his vision of football: “Football is not for Ballerinas”.
9. Ronald Koeman
With 193 goals scored in 533 league games, Ronald Koeman is the defender who has planted the most goals in football history. In addition to having a big strike, the former Barcelona, Ajax and PSV Eindoven player also collected big fouls. As during this quarter-final of the Champions League in 88 which opposed the PSV to Bordeaux, and where Ronald Koeman committed a real attack on Jean Tigana. He confessed after the meeting, having deliberately sought to get the Frenchman out of the field.
Pepe is without doubt the best there is today in terms of defensive rigor. With him, not a tibia passes. The Portuguese defender perfectly masters all the dirty tricks of the (perfectly) intractable defender: tackles from behind, on opponents on the ground, nudges, simulations… he can do it all. Currently, Pepe is around one card every 3 games. And again, he does not play in Ligue 1!
11. Frank Jurietti
Let’s go back to Ligue 1 to tell you about someone who liked to tear off a few legs: Franck Jurietti. The one who played with the Girondins de Bordeaux for 7 years has made a real reputation. 94 yellows and 7 reds in 369 games played, not a record, but he deserves his place in this top.
12. Cyril Jeunechamp
We tend to forget the little one… well, it’s a big mistake because he has accumulated a score of 125 yellows 18 reds over more than 400 matches. Passed by Auxerre, Montpellier or Rennes, Cyril tackled a lot of players in Ligue 1. He even attacked a journalist from the team in 2002. In short, with him it was not only the players passing through.
13. Jerome Boateng
Jérôme Boateng is not a real butcher, let’s not overwhelm him right away. But he is still a defender who lets almost nothing pass, especially the opponents. And we remember this tackle in 2018 against Sweden which will earn him an expulsion. Yes Boateng scares his opponents (except Messi), finally we can say that he is a good defender.
14. Vinnie Jones
Spread the word, Vinnie Jones was seriously ill. He is particularly known for the cult phrase he had released to Paul Gascoigne when he marked him “My name is Vinnie Jones, I’m a gypsy, I earn a lot of money and I’m going to rip your ear off with the teeth, then spit it all out on the grass. You are alone, my fat, all alone with me! »
Here you have roughly the portrait of the character, the Englishman really thought he was in a film, and he is also the record holder for the number of yellow cards in the Premier League. We can only applaud.
15. Yannick Cahuzac
A youngest from Ligue 1 to finish, it is Yannick Cahuzac. Cahuzac was a real fighter, which pleased the supporters, a little less to the attackers. The midfielder had managed to pick up 4 red cards with Bastia, before the club was relegated to Ligue 2. We should perhaps ask ourselves the right questions Yannick…