Soccer's Most Notorious Bad Boys

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Soccer's Most Notorious Bad Boys
Clint Hughes/Associated Press

Certain sports embrace misbehavior from athletes. Tennis adored the hirsute passion of Andre Agassi and the disbelieving shouts of John McEnroe, while NASCAR disputes on pit lane often resemble WWE pre-match hype sessions. Simply put, it's good TV.

However, soccer (or "football" if you're reading this in a place that calls the NFL "American football") struggles with its bad boys, and some argue it mars the "beautiful game." Violence on the pitch and racist remarks hurled at opponents have scarred the sport, leading the governing bodies to hand down increasingly severe discipline. 

But that doesn't stop bad boys from breaking bad, and there are a plethora to choose from.

Not included on this list are Wayne Rooney (calmed down), Mario Balotelli (young and quirky) or Zinedine Zidane (one incredible lapse that caused him to headbutt Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final). Not even Rio Ferdinand made the list despite a sextape, a drunk driving conviction and copious speeding violationsbecause his transgressions come as par for the course.

The players on this list go above and beyond when it comes to badness. From cocaine parties and karate kicks to quitting on your country and assaulting teammates, these are the eight most notorious bad boys in soccer history, with a premium on both violent acts and harming one's team.

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