In the most recent event. Lionel Messi Headbutted AS Roma’s Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Before this event, we had heard about the headbutt by Zinedine Zidane in 2006. But are these the only headbutting occurrences to have happened. Here we look at headbutting history in Association football in chronological order.
1. In April 1994, Scottish forward Duncan Ferguson received a three-month prison sentence (he was convicted of assault) after headbutting John McStay during a Scottish Premier Division match between the Rangers and Raith Rovers at Ibrox Stadium. Duncan was playing for Rangers of course.
2. In the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Ariel Ortega headbutted Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar in the Argentina vs. Netherlands quarterfinal match and was sent off.
3. In the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Rafael Márquez headbutted Cobi Jones in the Round of 16 match between the USA and Mexico.
4. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Mark van Bommel was headbutted, this time by Luís Figo in the Portugal vs. Netherlands second round match. However, Figo received only a yellow card this offense.
5. In the final match, of the same world cup, Frenchman Zinedine Zidane headbutted the Italian Marco Materazzi in the chest, for which he received a red card and a subsequent three-match ban. The ban had no effect since he had previously announced his intention to retire after the 2006 World Cup.
6. In the 2010 African Cup of Nations, referee Coffi Codjia was suspended indefinitely by the Confederation of African Football after failing to award a red card to Algerian goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi, who headbutted him during an argument.
7. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Pepe received a red card in Portugal’s opening match with Germany for headbutting German midfielder Thomas Müller.
8. Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o, playing for Inter Milan, headbutted Boštjan Cesar from Chievo Verona on Nov 21, 2010.
9. During the 2012 Major League Soccer season, Montreal Impact’s Nelson Rivas headbutted Philadelphia Union’s Antoine Hoppenot in the 68th minute of playing time during the 2-0 win over the Union on August 4, 2012. Rivas was issued a red card along with Union’s Jack McInerney.
10. During an English Premier League match between Newcastle United and Hull City on 1 March 2014, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew collided with Hull’s David Meyler when the latter attempted to retrieve the ball for a throw-in. Pardew proceeded to headbutt Meyler and was immediately sent off. The next day, Newcastle fined Pardew £100,000, and on 3 March, The FA announced it had formally charged Pardew with improper conduct, which ultimately led to a Premier League record seven match ban.