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The most shocking attacks by fans on soccer players

The kick out of a Tottenham fan on Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale on Sunday is not the only attack by a fan on a player.

Ramsdale, after the match.
Stuart MacFarlaneGetty

The worst side of football came out again at the weeknd in the north London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. It was a Premier League game with plenty at stake for the players, the Gunners in an incredible position in search of an unthinkable league title, and for the fans, pride being a powerful emotion.

As Arsenal displayed their dominance over Spurs, tensions spilled over, and one of the home fans decided to move into position beside the pitch as visiting goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale, drew closer. From there he took the opportunity to give a cowardly kick before running away, half covering his face, but not realising that he was being caught on mobile phones of nearby supporters as well as the cameras in the ground. He’s unlikely to attend again for some time.

England has a troubled past with hooligans but footballing authorities have done much to negate most of the issues, at least inside the grounds, but there will always be stupid individuals who are unable to control themselves. And the Premier League is not the only place where fans have taking violence towards players into their own hands or feet.

Pepe Reyna punched at the Bernabéu

The current Villarreal goalkeeper, during his first spell in Spain, more specifically on March 4, 2001, was also the victim of a similar attack. In a Real Madrid - Barcelona game, Reyna was punched from someone who came out from the stands while he was battling with Raúl so that the white number 7 could not quickly take a corner.

The attack was punished by Spain’s Anti-Violence Commission with a fine of 2,100 euros for the aggressor, who also lost his season ticket.

Stick thrown at Joan Jordán at Villamarín

Undoubtedly, one of the attacks that has aroused the most controversy in recent years in Spanish football was the one suffered by Joan Jordán at the Benito Villamarín during the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey. After an Olympic goal from Fekir that equalized the tie, the Sevilla midfielder was hit by a stick thrown from the South Goal of the Betic stadium. The game was suspended and Betis ended up qualifying behind closed doors. The Heliopolis team was penalized with the closure of its stadium for two games. However, the author of the launch could not be identified and the court closed the case last October.

Joan Jordán hurts after the attack.
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Joan Jordán hurts after the attack.CRISTINA QUICLERDiarioAS

Ultras from Jerez against players from Écija

In 2019, during a match between Écija and Jerez CD in Second Division B, radicals from the Cadiz team invaded the field to attack two local footballers. The events began in the stands and, after an exchange of blows with the players, they ended with punches against a member of the Sevillian club who was not playing the match. The two Écija footballers had to be treated later by the medical services and both clubs publicly condemned what happened.

Leeds fan punches Sheffield United goalkeeper

England had also witnessed assaults on a goalkeeper before the one in Ramsdale. In 2012 Kris Kirkland was also struck by a fan during a Second Division match. After conceding a goal, the goalkeeper saw an opposing fan leap onto the pitch from behind before hitting him in the face. Kirkland had to be assisted but was able to finish the game without too much problem.

Other moments of shame and tragedy

A notable tragic incident occurred in 2013 when a player for the Egyptian soccer team Al-Masry was killed after being beaten by fans following a match. This tragic event led to widespread condemnation and calls for increased security at soccer matches.

Another incident occurred in 2018 when a player for the Brazilian soccer team Corinthians was punched by a fan while celebrating a goal during a match. The fan was arrested and the player was thankfully not seriously injured.

In the Turkish Second Division events bordered on the surreal on 27 November last year. During Göztepe vs Altay, with the game stopped and while the players watched as the medical services treated a fan in the stands after being hit by a flare, an Altay fan taunted stadium security, jumped onto the pitch and, with the corner flag, hit the opposing team’s goalkeeper on the head. The game was marked by tension and the launching of flares from the bottom where the visiting fans were. The attack on the goalkeeper was the height of shame.

in 2019 when Manchester United player Chris Smalling was pushed by a fan during a match against Arsenal. The fan was arrested and later banned from attending matches. While in 2020, a Tottenham player was hit by a coin thrown by a fan during a match against Chelsea, which resulted in the fan being arrested and banned from attending matches.

In 2021, during a match between Aston Villa and Manchester United where a Aston Villa player was hit by a bottle thrown by a United fan. He was duly arrested and banned.


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