The World Cup is supposed to be all about the world coming together and celebrating the finest talent the most exciting game in the world has to offer.
However, as the 2010 final showed (with 14 yellow cards and a red), sometimes the beautiful game becomes the dirty game and when it does, don’t expect these five players to be too far away from the action in Brazil.
The Uruguayan almost behaved himself in the Premier League last season, although he still managed to collect six yellow cards in a season shortened by suspension. Still Luis, no biting, no racial abuse and only the odd dive shows major improvement.
Of course, the last World Cup was when Suarez really showed his colours on the international stage, his deliberate goal-line handball denying Ghana a place in the semis and his touchline celebration (having been sent off for the offence) when Ghana missed the resultant penalty earned him global infamy.
In his first two seasons in the Premier League he collected 25 yellow cards in 50 games and no player committed more fouls last season than Tiote.
He will have to curb his natural tendencies in Brazil as going down to 10 men could see his side really struggle but we somehow doubt this leopard will be changing his spots for the Elephants.
Robben is a man who can rival pre-therapy Suarez in the diving stakes and also has a nasty streak to boot. The mercurial Dutch winger has had a superb season with Bayern Munich but it was still somewhat tainted by repeated dives.
Either Robben has incredibly poor balance, someone is using a voodoo doll on him or – and I have a sneaky feeling it’s this one – he’s a dirty cheating Dutchman.
Chiellini was a controversial inclusion in the Italy squad given he was recently given a three-game ban for violent conduct, said conduct being a meaty elbow into (Roma player) Miralem Pjanic’s face.
Chiellini has been called “a force of nature, from another planet, able to mark three players himself” and there is no doubt he’s a fine defender but he’s also exceptionally dirty, both in an archetypal Italian way and also in that he’s pretty damn hard too.
Red cards are a part of his game, as are tackles that require subsequent apologies, as happened after a particularly savage tackle on Gonzalo Bergessio back in 2013.
Nigel de Jong
De Jong will be forever remembered for his brutal assault on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup final of 2010. Full studs in the chest with both feet off the ground and, miraculously, no red card, with English ref Howard Webb having been somewhat unsighted.
De Jong looks tough. De Jong IS tough. But he’s also a dirty so-and-so.