The days of teams turning up to play football with the express purpose of enjoying themselves and putting on a show for an adoring public is unfortunately a thing of a bygone era.
The necessity to win at all costs has become the one and only aim of all clubs nowadays, and that objective is almost always achieved with the use of unsavory methods, whether that be a sneaky handball, a shove in the back or a scything tackle that puts the fear of God into any opponent.
And it is the aforementioned rough and tumble that we will concentrate on today as we bring you our top ten of the most ruthless players ever to grace an Italian field of play.
2 – Pasquale Bruno
Now anyone that remembers Pasquale Bruno will know that this chap was a complete animal. A much-travelled defender, Bruno featured for both Juventus and Torino in the 1990s, as well as a surprisingly successful spell with Hearts in Scotland.
Over 100 bookings, numerous red cards and more than 50 match bans, ‘Killer’ as he was sometimes known, had altercations with the best strikers of them all. Marco Van Basten, Pierluigi Casirahi, Gianluca Vialli, Diego Maradona and Roberto Baggio have all felt the full force of a Bruno battering.
Famously, in 1991 during the Turin derby, Bruno was sent off but the incident is best remembered because the player had to physically restrained by multiple team mates and officials, who feared the incensed hard man would take his frustrations out on the referee.
“If [Gianluigi] Lentini hadn’t held me back, I’m sure my career would have been over,” he remarked in the cold light of day.
Look it up on You Tube, Pasquale goes absolutely bonkers…