Battle of Nuremberg (2006 FIFA World Cup)

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This article is about a football match. For other uses, see Battle of Nuremberg.
"Battle of Nuremberg"
Frankenstadion 1.JPG
The Frankenstadion held the match.
Event 2006 FIFA World Cup
Date 25 June 2006
Venue Frankenstadion, Nuremberg, Germany
Man of the Match Maniche[1]
Referee Valentin Valentinovich Ivanov (Russia)
Attendance 41,000[1]
Weather Mostly cloudy
26 °C (79 °F)[2]

The Battle of Nuremberg (Portuguese: Batalha de Nuremberg, Dutch: Slag van Neurenberg; also known as Massacre of Nuremberg) is the nickname of a football match played in the Last 16 of the 2006 FIFA World Cup between Portugal and the Netherlands at the Frankenstadion in Nuremberg on 25 June 2006.[3] 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.[4]

The match[edit]

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."[5] 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."[6] 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 leg made contact with the custodian in his attempt to score a goal, 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 Tiago.[7]

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 at 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.[8] Blatter later regretted these words and promised to apologise officially.[9]

When Portugal faced England in the subsequent quarter-final, they were without the suspended Deco and Costinha. Portugal managed to reach the semi-finals. However, they had two players suspended for that match due to accumulated yellow cards (including the ones against the Netherlands).

Match details[edit]

25 June 2006
Portugal  1–0  Netherlands
Maniche Goal 23' Report
Frankenstadion, Nuremberg
Attendance: 41,000
Referee: Valentin Ivanov (Russia)
GK 1 Ricardo YC 76'
RB 13 Miguel
CB 5 Fernando Meira
CB 16 Ricardo Carvalho
LB 14 Nuno Valente YC 76'
CM 6 Costinha Yellow cardYellow cardRed card 31', 45+1'
CM 18 Maniche YC 20'
RW 7 Luís Figo (c) YC 60' Substituted off 84'
AM 20 Deco Yellow cardYellow cardRed card 73', 78'
LW 17 Cristiano Ronaldo Substituted off 34'
CF 9 Pauleta Substituted off 46'
GK 12 Quim
GK 22 Paulo Santos
DF 2 Paulo Ferreira
DF 3 Marco Caneira
DF 4 Ricardo Costa
MF 8 Petit YC 50' Substituted in 46'
MF 10 Hugo Viana
MF 11 Simão Substituted in 34'
FW 15 Luís Boa Morte
MF 19 Tiago Substituted in 84'
FW 21 Nuno Gomes
FW 23 Hélder Postiga
Brazil Luiz Felipe Scolari
Portugal-Netherlands line-up.svg
GK 1 Edwin van der Sar (c)
RB 3 Khalid Boulahrouz Yellow cardYellow cardRed card 7', 63'
CB 13 André Ooijer
CB 4 Joris Mathijsen Substituted off 56'
LB 5 Giovanni van Bronckhorst Yellow cardYellow cardRed card 59', 90+5'
RM 18 Mark van Bommel YC 2' Substituted off 67'
CM 20 Wesley Sneijder YC 73'
LM 8 Phillip Cocu Substituted off 84'
RW 17 Robin van Persie
LW 11 Arjen Robben
CF 7 Dirk Kuyt
GK 22 Henk Timmer
GK 23 Maarten Stekelenburg
DF 2 Kew Jaliens
MF 6 Denny Landzaat
FW 9 Ruud van Nistelrooy
MF 10 Rafael van der Vaart YC 74' Substituted in 56'
DF 12 Jan Kromkamp
DF 14 John Heitinga Substituted in 67'
DF 15 Tim de Cler
MF 16 Hedwiges Maduro
FW 19 Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink Substituted in 84'
FW 21 Ryan Babel
Netherlands Marco van Basten

Man of the Match:
Portugal Maniche

Assistant referees:
Russia Nikolay Golublev
Russia Evgeni Volnin
Fourth official:
Mexico Marco Rodríguez
Fifth official:
Mexico José Luis Camargo

Match rules:

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra time if scores level
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level
  • Of 12 substitutes named, three may be used

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Portugal 1–0 Holland". BBC Sport. 25 June 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "History for Nurnberg, Germany". 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  3. ^ "Portugal Defeats Holland at the Battle of Nuremberg". Der Spiegel. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Fair play takes a dive". ABC Sport. 8 July 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "Ronaldo cries foul". Daily Mail. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Walker, Michael (26 June 2006). "Holland exit in acrimony as four see red". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "Match Report". FIFA. 25 June 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Blatter criticises referee Ivanov". BBC Sport. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2006. 
  9. ^ "Blatter regrets criticism of referee Ivanov". OneIndia News. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2012.