Six harshest red cards ever 10 years on from Robin van Persie Nou Camp disgrace

Robin van Persie’s baffling dismissal against Barcelona at the Nou Camp remains one of the harshest red cards in football history 10 years after his Champions League heartbreak.

The Netherlands international took a shot at goal with the tie tipped in the favour Arsenal following a 2-1 win at the Emirates in the first leg, and ended up with a red card.

Sergio Busquets turned the ball into his own net after Lionel Messi had levelled the scoreline – but their task was made much easier as referee Massimo Busacca showed Van Persie a second yellow for shooting after he had blown his whistle.

With Van Persie unaware of his error due to the noise of the 95,000 fans, the dismissal makes our list of the six harshest sendings off in recent memory.

David Beckham – World Cup 1998

One of the most infamous moments in the history of the England national side is the dismissal of a young David Beckham against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup.

After being fouled by Diego Simeone, Beckham fell to the ground and stuck out his right foot to give the current Atletico boss a gentle tap on the legs.

To his disbelief, Beckham was sent off by Kim Milton Nielsen in the round of 16 tie, with Argentina going on to win 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Hakan Unsal – World Cup 2002

Although Hakan Unsal was the man to be dismissed, this incident is all about the antics of Brazil hero Rivaldo as he prepared to take a corner.

The veteran dived to ground clutching his face after the ball hit him on the legs, with the eventual champions winning that game by two goals to one.

A disciplinary committee then imposed a £5,180 fine on Rivaldo, but he wasn’t bothered.

Kaka – World Cup 2010

"It was a totally unjustified sending-off.”

Brazil boss Dunga was left seething by the dismissal of the iconic former Real Madrid midfielder, although his side did win the game in question 3-1.

Kaka was adjudged to have lashed out at Ivory Coast's Abdel-kader Keita, but it’s fair to say he made the most of the contact as his team-mates were struggling.

Robin van Persie – Champions League 2011

Arsenal fans look away now. The incident that ruined their good work against Barcelona back in 2011 is not likely to get any easier to watch as the years pass.

Messi and Xavi both found the net after the dismissal, kicking the Gunners out at the round of 16.

Van Persie told Sky Sports: ”I think it was a total joke. How can I hear his whistle with 95,000 people jumping up? How can I hear it? Please explain that?

"I can't understand the view from the ref. One second from his whistle to my shot is a joke. He has been bad all evening. He was against us. I don't know why he was here tonight, it's a joke.”

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  • Kieran Gibbs – Premier League 2014

    A case of mistaken identity cost Kieran Gibbs back in 2014, with referee Andre Marriner forced to apologise for sending off the wrong man.

    With Chelsea ending up as 6-0 winners, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tipped Eden Hazard's shot wide of the post using his hand, but Marriner’s blunder kept him on the pitch.

    Dermot Gallagher told BBC Sport: "Andre made a genuine mistake and that's all it was. Unless one of his officials can call him over and say you got the wrong player, which did not happen, he has to go on what he thought was correct.”

    Wes Brown – Premier League 2015

    Sunderland ending up winning an appeal over a red card shown to Wes Brown against his former club Manchester United following a mix up involving John O’Shea.

    After referee Roger East judged that Radamel Falcao was brought down in the area, Brown was sent off despite his team-mate being the one who had hold of the striker.

    A statement on the FA’s website read: “An Independent Regulatory Commission has today upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal in relation to Wes Brown.”

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