As the World Cup 2018 in Russia is about to kick off, players from 32 different nations will be hoping to write their names into the history books. Throughout the years, players such as Zidane, Pele and Maradona have cemented their status as legends of the game, but there have been many instances in the past where players have made headlines for the wrong reasons. With hot headed players such as Diego Costa and Hirving Lozano set to feature, you can be sure there’ll be no shortage of drama! Here are three of the most well known footballers who have made headlines for both good and bad reasons at the World Cup:
Luis Suarez will be one of the stars present at this World Cup, and his national team, Uruguay, will be hoping the only headlines he makes are when he hits the back of the net. At both previous World Cup tournaments, Luis Suarez was involved in two very controversial incidents. In 2010, the striker instinctively acted as an impromptu goalkeeper, saving a goal-bound shot with his hands deep into extra time in the game against Ghana. He was sent off by the referee, but the move ultimately helped his side, as Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty. At the last World Cup in Brazil, Luis Suarez infamously bit Giorgio Chiellini, which was the third time in his career that he had bitten someone!
Zinedine Zidane has won everything there is to win in the game, both as a player and now as a manager, but there is one moment of madness that will forever be etched in our memories. After inspiring France during the 2006 World Cup, his side came up against the Italians in the final. Zidane dinked in a penalty to give France the lead, but Italy soon equalised and the game went to extra time. Throughout the match, Marco Materazzi could be seen taunting Zizou continuously, until the Frenchman lost the plot and heatbutted the Italian in the chest. This turned out to be his last ever action on a football pitch, as he was shown a straight red card, much to the dismay of the French fans, who witnessed Italy win the trophy on penalties.
Diego Maradona is not only considered as one of the all-time greats, but he’s also one of the most controversial characters in the game. In the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, Diego Maradona scored one of the greatest goals in history against England, after dribbling from inside his own half and taking out multiple defenders with his pace and trickery. In the same game though, he famously handled the ball into the back of the net and labeled it the “hand of God” in a post-match interview. In 1994, he failed a drugs test, and it was clear to the whole world that he was under the influence of cocaine, because of his manic celebration after scoring a hat trick against Greece.