Battle of Nuremberg (association football)
|Event||2006 FIFA World Cup|
|Date||25 June 2006|
|Venue||Frankenstadion, Nuremberg, Germany|
|Man of the Match||Maniche|
|Referee||Valentin Ivanov (Russia)|
The Battle of Nuremberg is the nickname of a football match played in Round 2 of the 2006 FIFA World Cup between Portugal and the Netherlands at the Frankenstadion in Nuremberg on 25 June 2006. Russian referee Valentin Ivanov issued a FIFA World Cup record four red cards and 16 yellow cards, setting a new record for cards shown at any FIFA-administered international tournament.
The match ended 1–0 to Portugal, with Maniche scoring in the 23rd minute. Before the goal, Mark van Bommel had been booked and in the eighth minute, Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz was booked for a foul which injured Cristiano Ronaldo and would eventually force the substitution of Portugal's star winger before half time. Ronaldo left in tears, and proceeded to describe Boulahrouz's tackle as "clearly an intentional foul to get me injured." In the meantime, Maniche had been booked for a foul on Van Bommel after 19 minutes.
Shortly after the goal, Portugal's defensive midfielder Costinha slid into Dutch veteran Philip Cocu, receiving a yellow card. He was then the first to be sent off just before half time after being shown a second yellow card for a handball. After Petit had been cautioned in the 50th minute, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Luís Figo both received yellow cards, with Figo's coming as a result of a headbutt. Portugal manager Luiz Felipe Scolari controversially gave his approval to this headbutt by stating after the match, "Jesus Christ may be able to turn the other cheek but Luís Figo isn't Jesus Christ." Scolari also escaped punishment.
Boulahrouz was sent off in the 63rd minute with a second caution after fouling Figo, which sparked a melee on the touch-line, involving Boulahrouz (who confronted Simão), André Ooijer and the Portuguese bench, necessitating the intervention of the fourth official Marco Rodríguez. Portugal's playmaker Deco roughly fouled Dutch defender John Heitinga and was booked; the Netherlands had not given the ball back after Portugal had cleared it into touch to allow a player to receive medical treatment, thus breaking one of football's unwritten rules. In the ensuing brawl, Wesley Sneijder pushed Petit to the ground and was also cautioned. The Netherlands' Rafael van der Vaart received a yellow card, apparently for dissent. After that, Portugal's goalkeeper Ricardo (presumably for time wasting) and left-back Nuno Valente (for a rough foul) were punished. Robin van Persie was lucky to escape without a yellow card after gesturing towards Ricardo after an apparent exchange of words in the Portuguese penalty area after he was subject to simulation by being accused of diving. Deco received his second caution and was dismissed in the 78th minute for delaying the restart after a free-kick was awarded. Philip Cocu escaped a caution for wrestling Deco to the ground in his attempt to retrieve the ball. In the 88th minute, Simão drew the ire of the Dutch goalie Edwin van der Sar after the Portuguese player's outstretched leg made contact with the custodian, but the referee decided against taking any disciplinary action. In injury time, Van Bronckhorst was sent off for a second yellow card for a foul on Maniche.
A scene was shown during the match in which Boulahrouz, Deco, and Van Bronckhorst were sitting together on the sidelines after being sent off, the latter two having a discussion, both being teammates on FC Barcelona. Commentator Gary Bloom referred to the scene as the "Bad boy's corner".
In the aftermath of the match, referee Ivanov was criticised by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has suggested that Ivanov should have given himself a yellow card for his poor performance during the match. Blatter later regretted these words and promised to officially apologise.
When Portugal faced England in the subsequent quarter-final, they were without the suspended Deco and Costinha. Portugal managed to make it to the semi-finals, however they had two players suspended for that match due to accumulated yellow cards (including the ones against the Netherlands).
25 June 2006
Man of the Match:
- Battle of Berne
- Battle of Bordeaux
- Battle of Bramall Lane
- Battle of the Buffet, a.k.a. Battle of Old Trafford II
- Battle of Highbury
- Battle of Old Trafford
- Battle of Santiago
- FIFA World Cup records
- "Portugal 1–0 Holland". BBC Sport. 25 June 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- "Portugal Defeats Holland at the Battle of Nuremberg". Der Spiegel. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
- "Fair play takes a dive". ABC Sport. 8 July 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
- "Ronaldo cries foul". Daily Mail. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
- Walker, Michael (26 June 2006). "Holland exit in acrimony as four see red". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- "Match Report". FIFA. 25 June 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
- "Blatter criticises referee Ivanov". BBC Sport. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2006.
- "Blatter regrets criticism of referee Ivanov". OneIndia News. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2012.