Football's 11 most shocking tackles of all time

Pedro Mendes, Ben Thatcher

5. Chris Mavinga on Carcela

Genk vs Standard Liege, 2011

Mavinga only played nine league games for Genk while on loan from Liverpool in 2011, but he certainly made a mark in his final appearance for the Belgian side – or, more specifically, on poor Standard Liege player Carcela.

In attempting to hook a loose ball out of play, Mavinga inadvertently swung a boot that almost decapitated his Moroccan opponent, leaving him with a broken jaw and nose that required surgery. 

"I did not sleep well, I thought I had killed him," a distraught Mavinga said later – something his haunted victim attested to. "I realise that I've been very lucky," said Carcela. "Thank God I'm still alive. After all, I could be dead."

Mavinga never played for Liverpool and has since spent time at Rennes, Rubin Kazan, Stade Reims, Troyes and Toronto. Carcela can be found at Olympiakos these days. 

4. Graeme Souness on Gheorghe Rotariu

Rangers vs Steaua Bucharest, 1988

Calling Graeme Souness hot-headed is a bit like saying Donald Trump is divisive.

About two minutes into this video of Rangers'™ fine victory over Romania Steaua Bucharest, the Scot ploughed into his opponent'™s thigh with his studs raised, and a very deliberate downward thrust.

Skip to 1:55

While the offender may not be surprising, the offence is. The unusual thing about this particular incident is that the Sky Sports charisma-vacuum wasn'™t making a tackle. He had the ball at the time. That'™s right: Souness was dribbling, saw someone attempting to nick the ball from his toes, so nicked a chunk out of their leg before they got their tackle in.

He protested long and hard that he was in fact the innocent party, rubbing his leg and showing the proof (or lack of it) to the referee. Unfortunately for Souness the ref had eyes, and promptly sent him off. Rangers went out on aggregate.

Next page: Thatcher's summer of shame