Muscat named football's dirtiest player

Spain might be relishing the prospect of playing Australia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and that might have just as much to do with the fact Kevin Muscat has long since retired rather than the gap between their world rankings.

A popular Spanish football website compiled a countdown of the most violent players in the history of the game and the former Melbourne Victory captain was crowned football's dirtiest player.

El Gol Digital posted a list of the ten worst offenders of the past and present including Luis Suarez, Roy Keane and the infamous Andoni "The butcher of Bilbao" Goikoetxea but they all paled in comparison to the villainy of Muscat, according to the website.

The now Victory coach first made a name for himself as a hard man in the United Kingdom while playing for Wolves, Crystal Palace, Glasgow Rangers and Millwall but it was the shameful end to his A-League career that earned him this unenviable gong.

Footage of Muscat's vicious tackle on Adrian Zahra in 2011 - which resulted in a career ending suspension - went viral to become his lasting reputation in continental Europe.

The list: 10) Nigel De Jong, The Netherlands, 9) Marco Materazzi, Italy, 8) Mark Van Bommel, The Netherlands, 7) Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland, 6) Gennaro Gattuso, Italy, 5) Luis Suarez, Uruguay, 4) Andoni Goikoetxea, Spain, 3) David Navarro, Spain, 2) Pepe, Portugal/Brazil, 1) Kevin Muscat, Australia.

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