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Zinedine Zidane and 5 Headbutts That Shook the Footballing World

Andy WardContributor IIDecember 19, 2012

Zinedine Zidane and 5 Headbutts That Shook the Footballing World

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    Everton's Marouane Fellaini inexplicably lost his cool in his side's draw with Stoke City after landing a headbutt on Ryan Shawcross that many brawlers on a Saturday night would have been proud of.

    The Belgian was rightly given a retrospective three-match ban for his actions at the Britannia Stadium, but he is far from the first high-profile player to take the law into his own hands. 

    The passion of the game inevitably means that sometimes things will boil over and tempers will be lost with spectacular consequences.

    Here are five of the most memorable headbutts ever to take place on a football field. 

Duncan Ferguson

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    Duncan Ferguson became the first British footballer to be sentenced to a spell in prison after he was found guilty of assault for his disgraceful headbutt on Raith Rovers' John McStay.

    The Scot didn't enjoy the best of times at Rangers, only managing to hit the back of the net on five occasions before moving on to Everton, where he would go on to become a legend.

    However, "Big Dunc's" antics in the 4-0 victory over Raith in 1994 will ensure that he is also never forgotten at Ibrox Stadium.

    The unfortunate McStay is probably still having sleepless nights too.

    The off-the-ball headbutt wasn't spotted by the referee at the time, but Ferguson soon landed in hot water after he was convicted of assault for the incident a year later. 

Luís Figo

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    The 2006 World Cup match between Holland and Portugal will forever be remembered for everything but the football.

    Dubbed the "Battle of Nuremberg" by Goal.com, the game saw a staggering 16 cards handed out in total, four of them red.

    Ironically, Luís Figo was one player not to be given his marching orders by the referee despite clearly raising his head to Mark van Bommel.

    There were calls from some sections for Figo to face retrospective punishment for his part in the farce, but such concerns were dismissed by FIFA

    Figo went on to face England in the next round, and the rest as they say is history as Portugal reached the semifinals. 

Coffi Codjia

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    Beninese referee Coffi Codjia hit the headlines in 2010 after he was suspended for not sending a player off for an alleged headbutt in the African Cup of Nations Clash between Egypt and Algeria. 

    However, the incident was made altogether more unique due to the fact that Codjia was the victim of the violent attack!

    Clearly disgruntled by the official's decision to allow Hosny Abd Rabo's controversial penalty to stand, Algerian goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi grabbed the referee by the collar and promptly landed a butt on him.

    To everyone's amazement, Chaouchi was only awarded a yellow card for his attack, but the implications were far more serious for Codjia, who was eventually taken off the short list to officiate at the 2010 World Cup.  

Ariel Ortega

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    Argentina's Ariel Ortega lost the plot in staggering fashion after he saw red in the 1998 World Cup quarterfinal showdown with Holland.

    The playmaker went from hero to zero after his angry reaction to being accused of diving by Edwin van der Sar.

    The dismissal would prove to be costly as Dennis Bergkamp went up the other end moments later to fire the Dutch into the semifinals, sending Ortega and Argentina home. 

Zinedine Zidane

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    The prize for the most famous headbutt of all time must go to Zinedine Zidane for his remarkable antics in the 2006 World Cup final

    Playing his last game in a glittering career before retirement, Zidane lost his cool on the biggest stage of all after thrusting his head into the chest of Marco Materazzi. 

    The French star was rightly given a red card for his inexcusable reaction, and his team went on to lose the final on penalties.

    This moment is one of the most iconic in World Cup history, albeit for the wrong reasons, and was a sad way to say goodbye to one of the all-time greats. 

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