The trip to Wembley for the second leg of the Euro 2000 play-off in 1999 was a bittersweet occasion. My chief memory other than Don Hutchison’s winning header - it wasn’t quite enough to undo the damage from the first leg - was trying to file copy via a mobile phone while being jostled in the away end throng after the last Scottish win under the since demolished twin towers.
Interesting fact: Craig Brown’s side weren’t in actual fact the last Scottish team to win at the old ground. Scottish Sun sports writer Kenny MacDonald’s Scotland press XI – augmented in defence by the peerless Jim Duffy - beat their English counterparts 4-1 in 2000 to claim that crown for evermore.
With the Euros now in full swing, the first red card of the tournament was shown to Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak against Slovakia. Meanwhile, Germany’s Antonio Rüdiger appeared to bite France midfielder Paul Pogba on the back during the first-half of their match on Tuesday.
A betting company, Compare.bet, has taken it upon themselves to calculate the dirtiest team at the tournament. They analysed statistics across all leagues using Transfermarkt and calculated the number of red cards received by each player in their career to create a team total. It turns out Italy have the highest total number of red cards, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise. France are second equal with Belgium on 32. Slightly further down come Scotland in fifth equal place with 28 red cards. The best behaved are Wales with 12. Yellow cards are also factored into this ‘dirty’ table.
On a personal level, Domenico Berardi leads the pack, receiving eight red cards throughout his career. Interestingly, Italy also has the largest number of yellow cards at 1,356. Portugal are not far behind, thanks to Ronaldo’s seven red cards. It’s just as well Duncan Ferguson is not playing for Scotland, as he did at Euro 92. By the end of his career, he had picked up an English Premier League record of eight red cards. The record still stands to this day.