“Football is something like war, whoever behaves too properly is lost”* Rinus Michels
Football for all its valiant nature and physicality is often compared with wars and many greats of the games and the pundits alike would agree on this.
There have been many brutal instances in the past bringing the battlefield to the game. It wasn’t until 1970 that Yellow cards and Red cards were introduced before that players were simply warned or sent off and the colored cards introduced a new aspect in the severity of the warning.
The match between Portugal and Netherland in 2006 has the dubious record of being the game with most cards drawn out in a World cup match. The Russian referee Valentin Rosov had a busy game drawing out 4 red cards and 16 yellow cards.
Two players each from Portugal and Netherlands were sent off by the referee. In the last 16 match Portugal faced Netherlands. Portugal side consisted of Luis Figo and the young Cristiano Ronaldo. The Dutch on the other hand had Sneider, Persie, Robben, Bomel.
Bommel was the first to be warned for a foul on Ronaldo.in the 7th minute Khalid Boulahraz (NED)was yellow carded for a kick on Ronaldo. Maniche opened the scoring for Portugal in the 23 minute after brhing shown the yellow 3 minutes before.
Both the teams had some genuine chances going into the break but failed to score. Next came Costinha’s(POR) card for a sliding tackle over Cocu missing the ball and bringing down the midfielder. A limping Ronaldo had to be subbed off in the 33 minute as the kick from Khalid proved to be way more daunting on Portugal.
Costinha’s second yellow card just in the dying minutes of First half for hand ball meant Portugal were now a man down but had the lead heading into the second half.
This ended the first half with Portugal having an upper hand with 1-0.
The second half saw Kuyt’s kick off the crossbar the closest Netherland got to scoring. Vander Sar’s efforts kept Portugal from scoring the second. The lack of goals and a possible knockout got the better of the players with 10 cards in the second half. Khalid was sent off for an elbow on Figo .
Now with Netherland down to 10 as well. Players somehow managed to get into quarrel whenever the game stopped .Sneider shoved Petit but he was lucky to get away with it. Deco was sent off over a second yellow in 5 minutes Kuyt had a wonderful through ball and only the keeper to beat but he was denied by Ricardo.
Bronkhorst was sent off in the 95th minute making him the Fourth player to be send off in the match. Quite an robust and bloody set of affairs for the World’s greatest game.
Thus the game ended with 9 yellow cards for Portugal and 7 for Netherlands. The Dutch bowed out of the World cup whereas the Portugal went on to beat England in the Quarterfinals. However, they lost to France in the semi finals. So much for winning a battle and losing the war.
Check the Full Highlights of one of nastiest and Gruesome encounters on a Football Field here :