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50 Pierluigi Collina (Referee)

Not strictly speaking (or even vaguely speaking) a player. But the scary Nosferatu
-ringer easily merits a place in the top 50 toughest football folk, for his forbidding,
bug-eyed glare alone.

49 Chic Charnley (Partick Thistle and many more)

Trouble was Chic's middle name (actually it turns out to be Callaghan, but you
know what we mean). Holds the sendings off record for British senior football.
During a training session in a Glasgow park he was attacked by two men with
samurai swords. The pair ran away.

46 Joe Louis (Liverpool)

The heavyweight champion of the world signed for The Reds while he was
stationed near Liverpool during the war. True, he never played a League game –
but how much harder can you get than one of the greatest boxers of all time?

47 Miguel Angel Nadal (Barcelona and Spain)

His nickname says it all – would you want to take on The Beast?

46 Roy McDonough (Birmingham City and many more)

English lower league legend who racked up a national-record 21 red cards in a
trouble-strewn career.

45 Marco Materazzi (Everton, Inter and Italy)

The man they call The Matrix due to his unpredictable personality dispenses pain
like other Italians dish out linguine con vongole.

44 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Ajax, Juventus, Inter and Sweden)

Sharpest elbows in continental Europe, and isn't fussy where he sticks them.

43 Fernando Hierro (Real Madrid and Spain)

Immovable as a rock in the chaos of the galactico years at the Bernabeu.

42 Duncan Edwards (Manchester United and England)

A giant of a man when he died from grievous injuries sustained at Munich, aged
just 21.

41 Bobo Balde (Celtic)

The Frenchman might have a first name like a Teletubby, but he's harder to push
around than the Eiffel Tower.

40 Billy Whitehurst (Sheffield United, Hull City and Newcastle United)

Cult centre-forward viewed by Alan Hansen among others as the roughest player
they've come across.

39 Paolo Montero (Juventus and Uruguay)

The Montero clothes-line was the most feared defensive weapon in the game. Try
running anywhere with a stiff Uruguayan forearm jammed in your Adam's apple.

38 Duncan Ferguson (Dundee United, Rangers, Everton, Newcastle United and
Scotland)

Pigeon-fancier who did bird for crimes related to football and chip shops, and
emerged from Barlinnie without a scratch.

37 Nobby Stiles (Manchester United and England)

The world's toughest-ever person named Norbert.

36 Daniel Passarella (Argentina)

Looked every inch the Latin American desperado from central casting, and tackled
with the ferocity of the wild bull of the Pampas.

35 Frank Barson (Aston Villa, Manchester United and Watford)

Famed for brutality even in the 1920s when footballers were less squeamish
about physical play than they are today. On frequent occasions Barson was
escorted out of grounds by policemen to protect him from mobs of angry
opposition fans. Once banned for seven months for a hideous challenge in a
match against Fulham.

34 Joe Jordan (Leeds, Manchester United, AC Milan and Scotland)

There have been few more fearsome sights in the European game than 'Jaws'
Jordan without his front teeth.

33 Patrick Vieira (Arsenal, Inter and France)

Wasn't from the psychopath school of hardmen, but was always ready to ensure
Arsenal's talented kids never had their lunch money stolen by Premiership bully
boys. And ten Premiership red cards was a fair effort.

32 Jose Emilio Santamaria (Real Madrid, Uruguay and Spain)

While the likes of Puskas, Gento and Di Stefano were weaving their spells up the
field for Real in the 1950s and 1960s, the hulking Uruguayan was booting
opponents over the stand to make like easier for them.

31 Kenny Burns (Nottingham Forest and Scotland)

Every city he played in needed a Burns Unit at the nearest hospital.

30 Romeo Benetti (Italy)

Spiteful midfielder who epitomised the ultra-defensive, don't-lose-at all-costs
attitude of Italy in the early 1970s.

29 Bert Trautmann (Manchester City)

The former German paratrooper played on with a broken neck in Manchester
City's 3-1 win over Birmingham City in the 1956 FA Cup Final. If the Wehrmacht
had had a few more like him we might have been looking forward to the start of
the new Barclays Bundesliga this week.

28 Jack Charlton (Leeds United and England)

Denied ever having a little black book of prospective victims. But he was always
the evil twin to Saint Bobby.

27 Ferenc Puskas (Real Madrid and Hungary)

Better known as one of the greatest footballers ever, Puskas was also a bit tasty.
The ex-Hungarian army major was mentioned in dispatches after the notorious
Battle of Berne when the Magyars beat Brazil 4-1 in the 1954 World Cup semi
-final. It all went off in the dressing rooms after the game. Puskas kept crazed
South Americans at bay with a boot in one hand, a bottle in the other.

26 Peter Storey (Arsenal and England)

One Storey that belonged in the horror section.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
25 Ron Harris (Chelsea)

The man they called Chopper was the unacceptable face of a talented Chelsea
team in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

24 Benjamin Massing (Cameroon)

His operatically over-the-top assault demolished Claudio Caniggia in the first
game of the 1990 World Cup – the most ruthless assassination Milan had seen
since partisans strung up Mussolini in 1945. Was Massing sent off? Is the Pope
German?

23 Terry Hurlock (Millwall)

Neil Ruddock was asked in a magazine Q&A, ‘What's your favourite animal?' ‘Terry
Hurlock,' he replied.

22 Bryan Robson (Manchester United and England)

Injuries never bothered Captain Marvel. If he had a broken leg, it was the
fracture that got depressed.

21 Terry Butcher (Ipswich, Rangers and England)

He could dish it out, but Terry ‘Butcher' Butcher could take it too. Witness the
night in Sweden when he ended the game with a crimson shirt, soaked with
blood in the England cause.

20 Graeme Souness (Liverpool, Rangers and Scotland)

Garth Crooks whimpered that Souey was an ‘uncompromising brute'. Marked his
Rangers debut with a red card for a two-footed outrage on Hibernian's George
McCluskey, which sparked a 22-man melee.

19 Luis Medina (Estudiantes)

The Argentine was the nastiest specimen in one of the most despicable teams
ever to emerge from South America. Estudiantes kicked, gouged and elbowed
their way through a World Club Championship against Manchester United in 196
8. Medina was sent off for picking on poor Georgie Best.

18 Norman Hunter (Leeds United and England)

Storming Norman was the first villain to claim the nickname ‘Bites yer legs'. Leeds'
trainer Les Cocker was once told Hunter had gone home with a broken
leg. ‘Whose is it?' he asked.

17 Antonio Rattin (Argentina)

The stone-thighed skipper stood out among a vintage crop of headcases at the
1966 World Cup in England. His sending off in the quarter-final prompted affable
Sir Alf to brand the visitors ‘animals'.

16 Billy Bremner (Leeds United and Scotland)

The truculent so-and-so from a rough housing scheme in Stirling was the fiery
ginger Scottish tough guy incarnate. Once described in a Sunday Times headline
as ‘10st of barbed wire.'

15 Dave Mackay (Tottenham Hotspur and Scotland)

‘Mackay was unquestionably the hardest man I ever played against. And certainly
the bravest.' The words of George Best, who had been kicked by some of the
world's most lethal boot-boys.

14 Jose Batista (Uruguay)

The men from Montevideo have had their share of hoodlums down the years, and
few can match the boorish antics of Batista. The highlight – sent off inside a
minute against Scotland at the 1986 World Cup for a challenge that threatened
to reduce Gordon Strachan to his constituent parts.

13 Paul Reaney (Leeds)

Best also rated Meanie Reaney among the people he least liked being kicked
by. ‘(He) was among the toughest players I played against,' he said. ‘He was at
you the whole 90 minutes, using every dodgy trick in the book.'

12 Giuseppe Lorenzo (Bologna)

The quick-fisted Bolognese turned a match against Parma into a scene from a
spaghetti western inside ten seconds in 1990. Lorenzo lamped an opponent and
earned the fastest red card in history.

11 Roy Keane (Manchester United and Republic of Ireland)

So hard even Fergie was frightened of him.

10 Marco Tardelli (Italy)

Jimmy Greaves had Mad Dog Marco's number. ‘He's responsible for more scar
tissue that the surgeons at Harefield Hospital,' he observed.

9 Giuseppe Bergomi (Italy)

Looked like a fellow who had been black-balled by the Cosa Nostra for using
unnecessary force.

8 Claudio Gentile (Italy)

There was nothing remotely genteel about Claudio, who formed the final leg of
Italy's Bad-Badder-Baddest trio with Bergomi and Tardelli at the 1982 World Cup.

7 Tommy Smith (Liverpool)

The man who made Biffa Bacon look like George Clooney was nicknamed The
Anfield Iron. Legend says that Merseyside mothers kept his picture on the
mantelpiece to keep their kids away from the fire. Missed the 1978 European Cup
Final after tripping on a pickaxe and injuring his foot. The pickaxe was a write-off.

6 Leonel Sanchez (Chile)

The fistic outside-left played a starring role in one of the dirtiest matches in World
Cup history – the Battle of Santiago against Italy at the World Cup in 1962.
Sanchez, the son of a boxer, knocked out Humberto Maschio with a devastating
left hook.

5 Johnny Giles (Leeds United and Ireland)

Harmer Giles graduated from Don Revie's Academy of the Dark Arts with honours.
In a team populated with miscreants, Giles was top of the shop. Chelsea's
Tommy Baldwin said, ‘Giles was the main instigator of the really bad tackles.'

4 Willie Woodburn (Rangers and Scotland)

Scottish centre-half of the 1950s who made Bremner, Mackay et al look like
Sassenach milksops. He was kicked out of the game for life by the SFA after
incurring a fifth sending off in six years – an astonishing strike rate for the time.

3 Basile Boli (Marseille, Rangers and France)

The only man brave and/or crazy enough to put the head on our own much
-loved ‘Psycho' Pearce. Bad Basile nutted Stuart at Euro 92, and lived to tell the
tale. (see No.2)

2 Stuart Pearce (Nottingham Forest and England)

If ever an Englishman had a Heart of Oak it was Pearce – with a head hewn from
the same material. When Boli butted him in Malmo (see No 3) Pearce felt nowt
and got on with the game. That's a man, my son.

1 Andoni Goikoetxea (Athletic Bilbao)

Everyone expected the Spanish Inquisition when they faced this mean hombre.
The Butcher of Bilbao was plainly at least one prawn short of a paella, and
delighted in reducing star names to rubble. Pride of place in the living room of El
Sod was a glass case, containing one football boot. The boot he had used to
destroy Diego Maradona's ankle ligaments. Aye caramba!
 

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How did Edmundo not make the list OMG!

Edmundo tackled one of the opponents players with a sliding tackle and earned a booking. After that he ran towards São Paulo's bench and physically attacked 3 players. He slapped the first one, knocked out the second one and kicked the third one in his groin

Source Wikipedia!

I think he should have been in the top 10!! He wasnt nicknamed the animal for nothing
 

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ARBUCKS said:
How did Edmundo not make the list OMG!

Edmundo tackled one of the opponents players with a sliding tackle and earned a booking. After that he ran towards São Paulo's bench and physically attacked 3 players. He slapped the first one, knocked out the second one and kicked the third one in his groin

Source Wikipedia!

I think he should have been in the top 10!! He wasnt nicknamed the animal for nothing

Yeah Edmundo was a beast. Got sent off some ridiculous amount of times. Nice of them to have Keane at number 11. Those top ten were seriously hard. Id have had Drunken Ferguson up a bit higher. Was Vinnie Jones on there? Didnt notice him.

Great list by the way :)
 

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carly I am at the top of every list....lol

Where's Vinnie Jones....????

"uncompromising brute"....Gareth Crooks on Souness....lmao...

Keano was the hardest....just not the craziest.

"uncompromising brute"....lmao......
 

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Where's The Toughtest - Vinnie Jones - He Got Red Carded In A Charity Match ! You Can't Get Any Worse Than That !
 

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ARBUCKS said:
How did Edmundo not make the list OMG!

Edmundo tackled one of the opponents players with a sliding tackle and earned a booking. After that he ran towards São Paulo's bench and physically attacked 3 players. He slapped the first one, knocked out the second one and kicked the third one in his groin

Source Wikipedia!

I think he should have been in the top 10!! He wasnt nicknamed the animal for nothing
Ahahaha what a beast. I love him already.
 

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Keano 11th?
Ive barely heard of any of them "HARD" men bu then again i am 15 !
Yeah i agree vinnie jones?
and lol collina 50th nice to see a ref there.
 
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