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World Cup 2014: Worst fouls of the tournament

The Independent’s team of writers make their individual choices for the worst fouls of the World Cup in Brazil

It's been a fantastic month of football littered with brilliant matches, but here, our writers select their worst fouls of the tournament.

SAM WALLACE - chief football writer

Steven Defour on Kim Shin-wook

There have been a few contenders although one has to say that Alex Song’s elbow on Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic was faintly hilarious. But the Belgian Defour’s horrendous stamp on the South Korean Kim, for which he was rightly sent off, lingers in the mind. Watch his expression in the immediate aftermath. He meant it.

IAN HERBERT - football correspondent

Steven Defour on Kim Shin-wook

A despicable stamp in the  Belgians’ last group game against South Korea. The European side were on their way to the knockout stage at the time but the filthy look on Defour’s face told us this was no accident. 

GLENN MOORE - football editor

Steven Defour on Kim Shin-wook

The potential leg-breaker on Kim Shin-wook, for which the Belgium midfielder saw red, edges out Blaise Matuidi’s stamp on Ogenyi Onazi, Camilo Zuniga’s knee into Neymar and Maxi Pereira’s hack at Joel Campbell. All were worse than Luis Suarez’s nibble on Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder.


JACK PITT-BROOKE - football writer

Maxi Pereira v Costa Rica

Uruguay were frustrated by their 3-1 opening game defeat to Costa Rica, and showed it in the worst way. In stoppage time, Maxi Pereira kicked Joel Campbell up in the air, making no attempt to win the ball, simply to cause Campbell as much pain as possible. He was deservedly sent off.

TIM RICH - football writer

Luis Suarez

Biting Giorgio Chiellini was bad, very bad. What was worse were the attempts by Suarez and the Uruguay team to explain it away. Pictures of the injury were Photoshopped. Chiellini’s shoulder struck Suarez’s teeth. It was all stirred up by the English media. If he had admitted it and asked for help, he might not have got four months.

SIMON HART - football writer

Pepe, Portugal v Germany

Pepe was guilty of the tournament’s most stupid red-card offence. Thomas Müller may have milked contact from him but Pepe’s mindless response – sticking his forehead into Müller’s face as he sat on the ground – cost Portugal dearly as they collapsed 4-0 and ended up eliminated on goal difference.

MIGUEL DELANEY - football writer

Brazil’s Fernandinho on James Rodriguez

Luis Suarez’s disgraceful bite wasn’t strictly a “foul”, and it is possible that Christian Zuniga’s knee into the back of Neymar was accidental, but the same could not be said of the repeated attempts to physically intimidate James and force him out of the quarter-final. The first was the worst.