The first of two Luis Suarez entries on this list, this one just goes to show how far the Uruguayan will go to win. It happened in a quarter-final 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Ghana was the last African side left in the first African World Cup. In the last minute of extra time, Suarez saved a ball off the line with his hands.
He was shown a red card and Asamoah Gyan would then go on to miss the penalty. Uruguay then defeated the Black Stars in the resulting penalty shootout. An unrepenting Suarez said: “I made the best save of the tournament.”
Does any footballer in the world today live on the edge like Luis Suarez? The Uruguayan has bitten three people in his career. Truly it is bizarre. How is biting your instinctive reaction when you want to channel your aggression? But for Suarez, it clearly seems to be his thing. Petr Cech played with a helmet. Suarez should play with a muzzle.
Suarez was banned for four months after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in their final 2014 group game. Video footage shows how outraged and bemused Chiellini was, pulling down his shirt to show the referee the teeth marks in his shoulder. You can’t blame him. Suarez is probably lucky he has teeth after that.
Over fifty years later people argue about whether or not Geoff Hurst’s goal crossed the line. This controversial moment came in extra time. Hurst smashed a shot off the underside of the crossbar. It bounced off the line and was cleared by the defender. But then the linesman awarded the goal.
Even today there are still arguments about it. Not even modern technology has been able to provide a definitive answer. In today’s matches, the footballs actually have chips that detect whether or not they have fully crossed the line. Problem solved.
One of the most notorious and iconic moments of World Cup history, English fans are still crying about this. Maradona enshrined his name in World Cup history after this game. His famous handball came in the 51st minute. Jorge Valdano miscued a cross and Peter Shilton came out to punch. He mistimed, and Maradona – 8 inches shorter – used his hand to send the ball into the net.
The Tunisian referee didn’t see it happen properly and allowed the goal to stand. Maradona would then go on to score one of the greatest goals ever, beating five men on the way to slotting past Shilton. After the match, he said the goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”
One of France’s greatest ever players, it’s too bad Zidane is always going to be remembered for his headbutt on Italy’s Marco Materazzi in extra-time in the 2006 World Cup Final. Zizou was sent off for the blatant offence and France would go on to lose the final after a penalty shootout.
French fans were incensed because the referee was far away from the incident when it happened. Zidane alleges that Materazzi insulted his mother. Of course, that doesn’t mean you get to headbutt someone. He deserved the red card, but the big question is whether or not Materazzi did as well.
The single most tragic entry on this list, it’s not actually the own goal that’s controversial but what happened after. Escobar was playing for Colombia against the USA in 1994 when he scored an own goal. The US would go on to win the game 2-1 and Colombia were knocked out.
Instead of going to Las Vegas with friends as originally planned, Escobar instead went to Medellin, Colombia. He was confronted by three men outside a bar named El Indio and shot six times. One of the men shouted ‘Gol, Gol, Gol,’ three times, the same amount as the commentator in the Spanish language broadcast.