The European Football Championship has gone without any incident of malice so far. Here we take a look at the top 5 kung-fu kicks in the recent history of the game.
1. Eric Cantona attacks a fan after being sent off.
Type ‘cantona’ on Youtube and ‘Cantona kung fu kick’ is the 1st search result you’ll get. After being sent-off for elbowing a defender, albeit unknowingly and without intent, Cantona was walking off the pitch, being escorted by stewards. An opposition fan, secure in the knowledge that one could sledge a player without expecting a backlash, started off. Poor guy, little did he know that he was dealing with a certain Eric Cantona.
2. De Jong on Alonso – Holland vs. Spain, 2010 World Cup Final
A kick straight out of kung-fu manuals. Holland, fully aware of Spain’s ability to keep the ball, resorted to physical and pressure tactics, spearheaded by the 2 terriers in midfield, captain Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong. Both were better known for their physicality than their skill with the ball. One wonders how Alonso escaped without his ribs being smashed. One also wonders how de Jong got away with it. Parental guidance advised.
Back in the days when City had not being taken over by the Arabs, when Benjani used to lead the City attack, comes this totally unintentional kick on Vidic. In footballing jargon, it may be said that both had eyes only for the ball. If Richards was aiming to hurt somebody, he probably chose the wrong guy. Vidic is as strong as Premier League defenders come.
4. Hernanes kicks Benzema – France vs. Brazil, International Friendly
Mano Menezes had pledged to bring the ‘beautiful’ back in Brazil’s play after taking over as the new coach. Even he would have gasped in horror at Hernanes’ ugly kick out on Benzema, straight out of a heavyweight championship bout. Only a red card ensued. You can’t ban people for fouls committed in a friendly, can you?
5. Santana on Ramos – Paraguay vs. Spain, World Cup 2010 Quarterfinals
Amongst the din of vuvuzelas, came Santana’s kick on the face of Spanish centre back Sergio Ramos. The last minute kick proved the highlight of an otherwise dull and disappointing match. Both teams managed to miss a penalty each. David Villa would prove to be the difference between the 2 sides. They would ultimately go on to lift the cup.
Do you agree with the list? Post any other incident that comes to your mind in the Comments section below.