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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 25 May, 2018

When sports stars attack: six of the best/worst

Serie coach Delio Rossi was sacked after he attacked player Adem Ljajic during the club’s 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.

FIORENTINA THIS WEEK sacked coach Delio Rossi after he attacked player Adem Ljajic during the club’s 2-2 draw with Novara on Wednesday night.

Rossi substituted the 20-year-old Serbian after just 36 minutes with Fiorentina trailing 2-0 and he sarcastically applauded before insulting the coach. Rossi was furious with the response and grabbed the youngster by the neck before punching him in the head as the pair fell into the dugout. It made for good TV.

But he lost his job and it’s not smart and it’s not funny… but here’s six more instances of similar behaviour:

1. Tom Gomboa

Most baseball fights are what they’d call ‘handbags’ on Sky Sports. Usually, the benches clear and there’s so much posturing you expect a David Attenborough voice-over to kick in. Not so in this instance.

The Kansas City Royals were playing the Chicago White Sox in 2002 when two shirtless Chicago hooligans charged the KC base coach, Tom Gamboa. It didn’t take long for the cavalry to arrive.

YouTube credit: fleish78

2. Páidi O Sé v Dinny Allen

It’s like the lad-mags’ staple rhetorical question: who’d win in fight between a lion a tiger? This random (most recent) Youtube comment says it all:  “Jesus Christ, this is when men were men. A shocking elbow followed by a left hook that even Muhammed Ali would be proud of. I f****** love being Irish.” Indeed.

YouTube credit: timmieoconnell

3. Elizabeth Lambert

You remember this girl. She’s a keeper.

YouTube credit: ESPN

4. Ben Thatcher

Ben Thatcher had the cherubic face of an angel but the forearm smash of a former Wimbledon player. As the ball bounces harmlessly out of play in a routine Manchester City versus Portsmouth game, the full back left the Portuguese in bits.

YouTube credit: ax11DOTcom

5. McRae v O’Gara

Duncan McRae was sent off for landing a barrage of vicious punches on a prone O’Gara during a New South Wales-Lions match in Sydney in 2001. McRae’s coach later said that the Munster out-half had ‘rearranged his player’s private parts’ and so, provoked this brutal reaction.

Note to self: do not rearrange an Aussie’s private parts.

YouTube credit: Melvin Brady

6. Zidane

We’ve all seen this a million times – Zinedine Zidane head-butts Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final in Berlin.

But like a great painter influencing his art, this headbutt from Zizou has prompted copycat attacks – see Inter striker Samuel Eto’o lose the rag in the defeat to Chievo last weekend. And regardless, as the full stop in ZZ’s career, it deserves re-watching.

YouTube credit: danmotut

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