There are some of the dirtiest teams in football that you’re most likely not aware of. You’ve probably seen that list on the Internet showing the 10 dirtiest teams in the English Premier League over the last 10 years. And on that list, you’d find teams like Manchester United, Everton, and Spurs at the top.
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Dirtiest teams in football of the last 10 years
Well, today we’ve decided to draw up a list of our own. And on this list, we’ll be talking about the dirtiest football clubs and countries. And you’re probably buzzing to find out.
1. Atletico Madrid
You see, for most parts of the last 10 years, Atletico Madrid has been one of the best European clubs. At the same time, they have also been one of the least favorite opponents for most top teams. And you’d probably expect that clubs would fear them because of the quality of their squad. But that’s not it. Most people fear them because they’re one of the nastiest teams to play against.
Look, when it comes to squad quality, Peak Atletico Madrid had enough to match and beat even the best teams in the world. But rather than doing it cleanly, they preferred to employ really dirty tactics frequently. Take, for example, when they knocked out Manchester United from the Champions League a few years ago. In that game, they kept going down at any slight contact, just to frustrate Manchester United. It was so bad that United’s manager Ralf Rangnick had to complain after the game.
And Manchester wasn’t the first victim of such tactics. It has become a frequent practice against most teams they play against, especially stronger teams. This makes them very uncomfortable opponents to play against.
2. Real Madrid
Real Madrid may look a lot classier with their new generation of players, but it wasn’t like that a few years ago. In the early 2010s, Real Madrid had a pretty star-studded team. But some of these guys also loved to play dirty. For defenders like Pepe and Ramos, it was going in too hard on opponents and getting into fights. And for attacking players like Di Maria, it was about going down too easily and drawing very soft fouls to frustrate the opponents.
It was even worse when they had José Mourinho as their coach. That guy would do anything to keep a clean sheet. But he also gave clear instructions to his players to frustrate opponents. In fact, it was so bad, that in a Champions League game against Ajax, he brought on Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso despite being 4 goals up. And while doing so, he gave them clear instructions to do all they could to get sent off, just so they could miss the next game and avoid suspension in the knockout stages. Now that’s just pretty wild, right?
Chelsea might be one of the best and most successful English clubs of the past 15 years, but it turns out they might have also been the dirtiest. And it’s not just in that period, but in the history of the Premier League as well.
That’s because when it comes to yellow cards and red cards combined, no other team in the Premier League’s history has more than Chelsea. Of course, considering that Chelsea have never been relegated from the Premier League since it started in 1992, it’s not much of a surprise that they’re high up there in terms of cards received. It’s also not much of a surprise that they’re closely followed by clubs like Everton and Arsenal who have also never been relegated.
If Chelsea has been one of the dirtiest English clubs in the past 15 years, then surely, the dirtiest national team in that time has to be Uruguay. Now, where do we even begin with these guys? They literally had Luis Suarez who’s probably the dirtiest footballer of the last 15 years.
While playing for Uruguay alone, this guy stopped a goal with his hand in a World Cup quarter-final against Ghana. 4 years later, he was found guilty of biting Chiellini in the World Cup again. And if you think Suarez was alone in these dirty tricks, well think again. In that period, the team formed a habit of trying out dirty antics during games, all in a bid to disrupt the flow of the game and strike fear into their opponents. These came in the form of picking unnecessary fights with opponents and referees and going in too hard while tackling opponents. Of course, that meant Uruguay managed to have solid defensive statistics. But it also meant they picked up loads of cards in their matches in the last decade.
We know that the Netherlands had one of the best squads at that World Cup. With guys like Van Persie, Wesley Schneider, Dirk Kuyt, and Arjen Robben all in their prime, you’d have struggled to find a more talented attack in that World Cup. And you would agree that an attack like that could penetrate almost any defense on their day. But rather than play to their strengths and try to win cleanly, they chose to adopt a very nasty style of play. And this was even worse in the knockout stages of that tournament. In fact, it was so bad, that in the final against Spain, they received a total of 9 yellow cards and 1 red card. And when you remember that Van Bommel wasn’t sent off for that reckless kick on Xabi Alonso, you’d agree that they were lucky to get just one red in that game.
Of course, the Netherlands isn’t the only team who have played dirty to try to win a World Cup final. In fact, the other teams we mentioned aren’t the only dirty teams in history. You probably know about others.
So, head over to the comments, and tell us other dirty teams in football history.