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29 GIFs of Vicious Soccer Tackles That Prove Soccer Players Aren’t Always Faking It

by: Esteban On  Friday, June 20, 2014

vicious soccer tackles gifs

One of the most common complaints you’ll hear from people who do not like soccer is that they hate how the players flop to the ground and writhe around in feigned agony any time they sense an opponent within five feet of them. Hell, in North American, this is the most common complaint you’ll hear from people who are fans of the game. And it’s all 100% true: soccer players often act like a bunch of ninnies.

However, it should be noted that, on occasion, soccer actually can be as violent and brutal as players pretend it is. And to prove it, today I present to you this list of vicious tackle GIFs that will make you cringe. Have a look and you may just discover a newfound appreciation for the mostly beautiful but sometimes gritty game.


29. Dempsey's Face Rearranging

clint dempsey nose vs ghana - vicious soccer tackles

Clint Dempsey got his face rearranged in the USA’s World Cup opener against Ghana but kept on playing.

Who says soccer players aren’t tough?


28. Belgian Elbow

fallaini elbow - vicious soccer tackles

And here is Belgium’s Marouane Fellaini acting like a hockey player.


27. The Throwdown

bodyslam 2 - vicious soccer tackles

The guy in red was asking for it, but still, you can’t just slam guys to the ground.


26. The Bodyslam

bodyslam - vicious soccer tackles

Like I just said, bodyslams are illegal in soccer.


25. Not Feeling Charitable

one direction louis tomlinson taken out by aston villa Gabriel Agbonlahor - vicious soccer tackles

That’s One Direction wiener Louis Tomlinson getting taken out by Aston Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor in a charity game…which is just awesome.


24. Karate Soccer

taras stepanenko flying kick to head - vicious soccer tackles

That’s what you would call a “dangerous play.”


23. Cleat on Knee Violence

ashley westwood on jordan henderson - vicious soccer tackle

I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure knees aren’t supposed to bend that way.


22. Knee on Head Violence

goalie takes knee to head - vicious soccer tackles

Just look at the way this poor bastard’s head snaps back. If he didn’t suffer a concussion, he sure as hell got whiplash.


21. Cleat on Chest Violence

nigel de jong vs xabi alonso - holland tackle on spain world cup final 2010 - vicious soccer tackles

Who could forget this insane “tackle” from Holland’s Nigel de Jong on Spain’s Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup Final?


20. Luis Suarez Goes Out of His Way

luis suarez spikes Mirallas foot - vicious soccer tackles

Hey, at least he didn’t bite him.


19. Ankle-Breaker

montoliva red card - vicious soccer tackles

If you’d like sound effect for this one, but grab a handful of chips and crunch them in your mouth.


18. All Ball

brede hangeland red card - vicious soccer tackles

Technically, I guess this one is legal since the defender does get the ball. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t also a little dirty.


17. The Nutcracker

wilshere-kicked-int-the-balls - vicious soccer tackles

Don’t you just love Tchaikovsky?


16. Keane Plays Dirty

roy keane on haaland - vicious soccer tackles

This nasty attack on Alf-Inge Haaland was am expensive one for Roy Keane. At first the FA fined him £5,000 and suspended him for three games. However, several years later he admitted that he did it on purpose to get revenge on Haaland for something he had said, the FA fined him another £150,000 and suspended him for five more games.


15. Thiago Motta Gets a Red Card

thiago motta red card - vicious soccer tackles

If you stomp down on somebody’s heal so hard that it goes into the ground and created an explosion of turf, you’re probably going to get a red card. FYI.


14. Callum McManamann vs. Massadio Haidara

Callum McManaman vs Massadio Haidara (Wigan vs Newcastle) - vicious soccer tackles

This is one of the most-talked-about tackles in recent Premier League history…for obvious reasons. It’s pretty disgusting.


13. Kick to the Gut

matty taylor kicks rahim sterling in stomach and tackles him - vicious soccer tackles

Could have been worse—at least the ball was in front of this guy’s stomach instead of his crotch.


12. Upended

wigan vs wolves - vicious soccer tackles

Pro tip: when you get sent flying through the air and spun around 180º, you don’t need to do anything else to draw attention to the situation. The refs probably saw it just fine.


11. Cleats on Sternum Violence

gary thom on ian black - vicious soccer tackles

That’s a booking.


10. Nemanja Vidic Loses It

vidic red card - vicious soccer tackles

Dude didn’t even try to go for the ball here. What a douche.


9. Clothesline

soccer clothesline brisbane premier league - vicious soccer tackles

This one deserves some Jim Ross commentary, seeing as how it’s a wrestling move.


8. Goikoetxea vs. Maradona

andoni goikoetxea vs maradonna 1983 - vicious soccer tackles

That’s a pretty shitty thing to do to anybody, but it’s even worse when it’s the best player in the world.


7. Knocked Out Cold

belgian kung fu kick to face - vicious soccer tackles

Sometimes you go to an MMA fight and a soccer game breaks out.



kung fu kick to face finishing move - vicious soccer tackles

And sometimes you’re playing FIFA ’14 and a game of Mortal Kombat breaks out.


5. Graeme Souness Is a D*ck

graeme souness vs gheorghe rotariu - viciou soccer tackles

The best part is that, after is just stomped his cleat on the other dude’s thigh, Souness points at the snag in his sock like that somehow justified his actions.

That said, the man sure does have some nice hair. He’s like a young Tom Selleck.


4. Harald Schumacher Destroys Patrick Battiston at '82 World Cup

harald schumacher destroys patrick battiston world cup 82 - vicious soccer tackles

If the Germans aren’t plowing through France in tanks, they’re plowing through Frenchman like tanks.


3. Valentin Eysseric vs. Jeremy Clement

valentin eysseric 11 match ban for tackle on jeremy clement - vicious soccer tackles

Eysseric got an 11-match ban for this horrendous tackle. But if you think this injury is gruesome, just wait until you see the next two…

(That’s a warning, by the way. If you’re squeamish, proceed with caution.)


2. Axel Witsel on Marcin Wasilewski

marcin wasilewski brutal leg break in half - vicious soccer tackles

Amazingly, this did not end Wasilewski’s career. He now plays for Leicester City, which will play in the Premier League in 2014-15.

As for Witsel, you can watch him play for Belgium in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.


1. Felix Muamba Musasa vs. Oupa Ngubule

Felix Muamba-Musasa breaks Oupa Ngubule in half - vicious soccer tackles

Before there was Kevin Ware there was Oupa Ngubule of the South African Premier League.

I told you not to proceed if you were squeamish, didn’t I?