Many refer to football as the 'beautiful game' because of the passion, drama and pure talent that comes with it. However, the sport has also seen many shocking incidents of kung-fu kicking, biting, studs-up tackling and head-butting in the past.
If one is asked about football’s most ill-disciplined players, the likes of Nigel de Jong, Mario Balotelli, Joey Barton, Diego Costa or Gary Medel are the names that come to mind. However, these players have been involved in high-profile episodes but still are not consistently indisciplined week-in and week-out.
In this section, we take a look at five current players who have mastered the ‘dark arts’ of football.
Also Read: Ranking the 10 best defenders in the world
#5 Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic is perhaps one of Roy Hodgson’s most important players because of his leadership qualities, defensive solidity and set-piece specialty. The 28-year-old, however, is a constant thorn for the opponents as he is often seen tugging shirts, sliding in aimlessly and cruelly stopping counter-attacks.
Whilst he gets away with many, the Serbian has still racked up 39 fouls in 22 appearances this season, currently joint-fourth in the Premier League. He has also been shown the yellow card on 9 separate occasions, joint-highest in the division. In the past two seasons, Milivojevic has accumulated an incredible 129 fouls and 18 yellow cards, making him one of the most indisciplined players in the English top-flight.
The defensive midfielder has not been red-carded in the league this season, but he was recently shown one in the FA Cup third round against Derby County following a scuffle with Tom Huddlestone. Ten-men Palace were then well-beaten by the Rams as they bowed out of the competition in an unfortunate manner.
Also Read: 5 most disciplined center backs this season