Posted by Christopher Smith on October 31, 2016
It's Halloween again everyone, so what better way to celebrate than to have a look back on the scariest footballers to ever grace the field of play.
This isn't necessarily a list of the toughest/hardest players ever, because there's not many things more intimidating than crazy...
5. Roy Keane (Man Utd & Rep Ireland)
Keane of course had a reputation for just generally being downright hard as nails. However, one of the main reasons you wouldn't want to play against him was the fact he was quite capable of going out of his way to hurt you physically.
The most famous example of this involved Norwegian midfielder Alf-Inge Haaland. Keane injured himself chasing a loose ball, only for Haaland to lean over the Utd player and accuse him of diving.
After Keane came back from injury, he sought out Haaland in a match against rivals Man City and exacted his revenge.
He still claims this wasn't intentional...
4. Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
He's the only player on our list still actively playing the game, and the Real Madrid defender definitely falls into the "love to hate" category for many opposition fans.
There's no debating Pepe's class, but his tendency to dive and feign injury infuriates even his own supporters on occasion.
So why is a defender who falls over when touched on a list of scary players you say? Well let's just say he sees the red mist from time to time...
3. Harald Schumacher (FC Köln & West Germany)
Schumacher's name still sends a shiver down the spine of every Frenchman to this day. Standing at over 6ft tall, the broad-shouldered keeper was already an intimidating presence for every opposition forward before nearly "killing" another player on the pitch.
In 1982, France defender Patrick Battiston found himself in the unfamiliar position of being through on goal for a 1v1 with Schumacher. With the ball bouncing up, Schumacher sprinted off his line and completely wiped out the Frenchman at full speed.
Unbelievably no foul was given and poor Battiston was knocked unconscious, lost several teeth and cracked a vertibrae that remains damaged to this day!
Schumacher made no effort to help the unconscious player and instead looked bored while he waited to take the goal kick. Rumour has it that when told about Battiston's loss of teeth Schumacher coldly replied: "I'll pay for the crowns."
2. Duncan Ferguson (Rangers/Everton & Scotland)
As far as we're aware, Duncan Ferguson is the only footballer to be jailed for his antics on the pitch. In 1994 while playing for Rangers against Raith Rovers, Ferguson infamously headbutted John McStay (Celtic player Paul McStay's cousin).
Ferguson was given a 3 month prison term for the assault, setting a precedent for player responsibility on the pitch.
In 2001 two burglars broke into Ferguson's house, which proved to be a big mistake. Ferguson caught one of the intruders who went on to to spend 3 days in hospital recovering from his injuries.
1. Vinnie Jones
Who else but Vinnie Jones could possibly take the number 1 spot in our scary footballers list? Can you think of a player you'd rather not play against more than the former Wimbledon man?
Jones was essentially a perfect cocktail of all of the things that made a player scary to play against. He was mentally tough, physically intimidating and on-edge enough to make an example of you by chopping you in half on the pitch.
The Wimbledon side of the 90s were known as the Crazy Gang, of which Jones was very much the figurehead. He was sent off 12 times throughout his career, while he also holds the record for the quickest yellow card in Premier League history (just 3 seconds).
Jones also gave us the greatest photo in the history of football - poor Gazza!
Rene Higuita (Colombia) | Edmundo (Brazil) | Ron Harris (England) | Graeme Souness (Scotland)