Famous red cards in club football

All football fans love a game with plenty of action – a 0-0 barely fought draw doesn’t seem like a decent reason to get out of bed on the weekend. When players head out onto the pitch with grit and determination, they gain respect. But what happens when all that effort fails and turns to frustrations? With temperaments running high, players start to lose their heads and make crucial mistakes.

The red card. Something that can change an entire game. Not only will it send a team down to 10 men, but it can also leave another player injured for several weeks. Let’s take a look at some of those famous red cards that have ended in tears.

Zlatan Ibrahimović – Paris Saint-Germain

The Swedish striker is quite the prolific personality in football. Regarded as one of the best goal scorers of his generation, with over 600 goals in his career to date. But there is one particular moment in his fine career that overshadows some of his success.

Whilst playing at PSG in Ligue 1 during the 2012-13 season, Ibrahimović found himself receiving a red card. After Saint-Etienne managed to take the lead after an own goal from Mamadou Sakho, Ibrahimović turned to desperation after repeatedly being denied a goal.

As the ball bounced behind the striker, he locked his eyes onto it to ensure he didn’t miss his next opportunity. Unfortunately for Ibrahimović, he didn’t realise the goalkeeper had come out of the net to collect the ball. As the striker flew through the air, boot aloft, his studs met the keeper’s chest. There was no denying his high boot, and his actions forced him from the pitch with a red card.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Possibly the most unforgettable red card in recent history, but took place on the side lines. In recent Premier League odds, Chelsea have been looking favourable to finish in the top four with plenty of success. In the 2012-13 season, they also had a promising start, but as things started to unravel after Christmas, players became desperate to make a difference.

In their League Cup semi-final match against Swansea City, Chelsea were frantically searching for a goal after losing the first leg 2-0. Time was running out, and Hazard felt the pressure to score. When the ball went out, he and a ball boy seemed to become tangled down one end of the pitch. Cameras showed Hazard kicking the ball boy, who seemed to be laying on the ball, the ref had no decision but to send Chelsea down to 10 men.

Roy Keane – Manchester United

The hot-headed Irishman was bound to make this list. During his time at Old Trafford, he accumulated 11 red cards, with a total of 13 in his career. Although there are plenty of occasions to choose from, his red card against Alf-Inge Håland is a standout. Not only did it remove him from the pitch, but it also inevitably ended the Norwegian’s career.

In a Manchester derby, Håland’s tackle prevented Keane scoring a goal. There seemed to be some tension between the two players at the time, but ultimately it was quashed. Although Keane wasn’t keen to forgive, and no doubt was seeking his revenge at the next opportunity. As Håland kicked the ball, Keane arrived with a very late high foot which landed straight onto Håland’s knee. Not only did Keane seem unfazed by the accident, but he also accepted his red card with grace and walked off the pitch.

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