Here we list 10 of the hardest men to have been involved in the competition.


The West Germany goalkeeper featured for his country at the 1980 and 1984 championships but his main qualification for inclusion in this list was his shameful assault on France'sPatrick Battiston at the 1982 World Cup.

Battiston raced through on goal and had lifted the ball past Schumacher, but the German seemed unconcerned about the ball and deliberately launched himself at the Frenchman, who was left with fractured vertebrae. Schumacher, incredibly, was not even booked.


Affectionately dubbed "Psycho" by fans of Nottingham Forest and England, the left-back was not to be trifled with.

However, more often than not he was hard but fair. Physically tough, but it was his mental strength to take a penalty for England in a shoot-out against Spain at Euro 96 which will live longest in the memory.

Pearce missed a vital kick in the World Cup semi-final against West Germany but made no mistake against Spain, and the joy and relief on his face when he wiped out the memory of that miss is one of English football's most enduring images.


The former France, Marseille and Rangers defender was a man-mountain at the back for club and country and his credentials for inclusion here include a headbutt on none other than Stuart Pearce when France met England in a European Championship match in Malmo, Sweden, in 1992.


Croatia'sRichard Gere lookalike was not a man to mess with. He was red-carded in his country's Euro 96 quarter-final with Germany and saluted the Old Trafford crowd on his way off the pitch.

The former Derby and West Ham man also once threw a glass at a waiter in a restaurant because he objected to the music being played.


The Serbian was once most famous for his thunderbolt left-foot free-kicks but his career has taken a few unsavoury turns in recent years.

Sent off for two bookable offences in the space of five minutes against Slovenia at Euro 2000, later that year he was given a two-match ban by UEFA for repeatedly racially abusing Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira in a Champions League match while playing for Lazio. Mihajlovic was banned for eight matches in 2003 after he compounded his sending-off against Chelsea for two bookable offences by spitting at Adrian Mutu.


The uncompromising Bulgarian defender was just as scary to look at as to play against. The lank hair and dead-eyed stare would have been enough to make most players run a mile and that was before he had set foot on the pitch. Solid as a rock in the tackle and once endeared himself to one of his club managers in Austria by telling him: "You know nothing about football." Charming.


Known as "The Butcher of Bilbao", Goicoechea left his stud-marks on the game's history when he almost ended the career of Diego Maradona in September 1983.

The Argentinian superstar was left with a broken ankle and damaged ligaments, Goicoechea - who played for Spain at the 1984 championships - was given a 16-match ban. Goicoechea decided to commemorate the event by having the boots he wore that night put in a glass case and made into a permanent fixture in his living room.


There was nothing gentle about Gentile. The Juventus and Italy defender was an old-school man-marker - happy to use any and every tactic, fair and foul, to stop an opponent.

Rough-house tackling, obstruction, shirt-tugging and even some Vinnie Jones-style squeezing of genitals were all part of his unseemly repertoire.


Turkish defender who was made public enemy number one in England in late 2003 after a run-in with David Beckham during the Euro 2004 qualifier in Istanbul.

First confronted the England skipper after his first-half penalty miss, glowering over him and rubbing heads with the Real Madrid star in full view of the referee.

He followed that up by prodding a finger into Beckham's face as the players ran off the pitch at half-time, sparking a tunnel brawl.


Hard as granite, Hendry played for Scotland at Euro 96 and built his game on an uncompromising approach to the defensive "art".

His lowest moment came when, in his words, he "shrugged off" San Marino striker Nicola Albani in a World Cup qualifier - in other words swinging an elbow which caught his opponent in the face and almost resulted in him swallowing his tongue. The former Blackburn man was banned for six matches and never played for Scotland again.