Soccer has long been hailed as the beautiful game. That’s because of the amazing goals, sublime assists, and the game’s overall grasp on seemingly every corner of the world. You couldn’t even get into the Boca Juniors steakhouse on Queens Boulevard for Argentina’s matches during this past summer’s World Cup, so imagine what it was like in Buenos Aires. But we digress.
The point today is to talk about the other side of the game. This is the side no one likes to see-unless you’re a sick sadomasochist-but has always been just as much a part of the game as the last-minute winners, dazzling midfield runs, and improbable victories. There is certainly a concerted effort in modern soccer to stamp out-no pun intended-the rash challenges, which leave ankles broken and ligaments in shreds, but that part of the game still very much exists. We took a look at some of the worst of the bunch throughout the years, because, well, even the dark parts of the game need a spotlight. From Martin Taylor taking out Arsenal’s Eduardo to Nigel de Jong's kung-fu kick on Xavi Alonso during the 2010 World Cup Final, check out The Nastiest Tackles in Soccer History in GIFs.