Football's 11 most shocking tackles of all time
3. Ben Thatcher on Pedro Mendes
Portsmouth vs Manchester City, 2004
The heat makes us all do funny things: we get a bit irritable, a bit snappy. It seems to affect some more than others, however, and Ben Thatcher is a fine example.
In the late summer hum of 2004 he went mental. During Manchester City's pre-season tour of China, his elbow caused Yang Chungang to suffer a collapsed lung, and less than three weeks later he became the most hated man in English football with a horrendous assault on Portsmouth's Pedro Mendes.
As he and Mendes ran for a loose ball near the touchline, Thatcher intentionally led with his elbow, sending the Portuguese sprawling into the advertising hoardings and knocking him unconscious. Mendes needed oxygen at pitchside and suffered a seizure while being transferred to hospital, where he spent the night.
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The tackle was so bad that his own club issued Thatcher with a six-match ban on top of the FA's eight-game suspension. He was also served with a 15-match ban suspended for two years.
Portsmouth's Matt Taylor echoed the thoughts of the thousands watching, incensed by the referee's decision to only hand Thatcher a yellow card: "How can that not be a sending-off? What do you have to do, kill someone?" he fumed.
2. Pepe on Javi Casquero
Real Madrid vs Getafe, 2009
There's seconds remaining in a clash with your local rivals, and you haul down one of the opposition inside the area. The scoreboard reads 2-2, and you could now be to blame for your side failing to pick up a point.
You're angry, and look around for something to kick – but all you can see is the opponent you felled, sprawled on the grass like a big blue piñata. So, you boot him several times and stand all over him before giving his mate a little smack in the face. Naturally.
Real Madrid's Pepe thought so, shown a red card and escorted from the pitch by team-mate Iker Casillas after his savage release of frustration all over Getafe's unlucky Casquero and his buddy Juan Albin.
Unfortunately for Pepe, the Spanish FA didn't agree and handed him an eight-game ban ruling him out for the rest of the season. And if you thought things couldn't get any worse for Pepe's plaything Casquero, his spot-kick was saved by Casillas before Gonzalo Higuain scored a brilliant winner.
Next page: Grand Final, grand pain