Top 10 Italian Hard-men

It's always been a toss-up as to what Italian footballers are best known for - a high level of technical competence or the ability to dish out some of the dirtiest tactics since Albert Grime published his infamous book "1001 Things you can do with Grit" back in 1894.

We're going for the latter here, as we look at 10 Italian footballers so tough they wouldn't have thought twice about cropping Vito Corleone if they'd met up in a charity kick-about.

No. 10 Giorgio Ferrini


Legendarily tough central defender with Torino from the late 50's right through to the mid 70's, Ferrini made more than 400 appearances for the Granata and his no-nonsense approach earned him one of the hardest reputations of the 1960's. He is best known as being the first man to be sent-off in the infamous 'Battle of Santiago' (the 'clash' at the 1962 World Cup between hosts Chile and Italy). A series of dreadful fouls (the first only 12 seconds from kick-off) culminated in a terrible challenge from Ferrini on Chilean forward Honorino Landa, for which Ferrini was shown a red card. On being shown the card he immediately got into an argument with English referee Ken Aston and steadfastly refused to leave the pitch. And this just 12 minutes into the game! Further scuffles broke out and it took nearly ten minutes to get the match restarted. In the end police officers had to be brought onto the pitch and actually drag Ferrini off the field, still shouting and kicking. Sadly, Ferrini died aged only 37 shortly after his career had finished.