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The Football Hard Men Index No.2: Andoni Goikoetxea, aka the Butcher of Bilbao


Name: Andoni Goikoetxea, nicknamed The Butcher of Bilbao

Club career: Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid

Position: Centre-back

Why so hard? The Butcher of Bilbao earned his nickname for an infamous scything tackle from behind on Diego Maradona, who was playing for Barcelona at the time. The challenge knackered Maradona’s ankle badly and kept him out of action for three months, but Goiko was so proud of it that he kept the offending football boot in a glass case in his living room, so he could say, “That was the boot I used to crock the great Diego!”

Writing in his autobiography, Maradona claimed that he forgave Goikoetxea in time for the “axe’s blow”:

Ouch. Terrible tackle.

Not long before this foul, the Butcher had injured Bernd Schuster – also playing for Barca at the time – with a bad tackle that f**ked up the German’s right knee so badly that he never recovered fully. Yep, no doubt the Butcher deserves his hardman status.

If you have any nominations for our Hard Men section, feel free to let us know…

Fletch says:


“Pretty tasty for a Spanish lad. But if he tried that shite on me, I’d reduce the c**t in nae time. Because that’s what’s going to happen…”

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By Ollie Irish on December 3rd, 2009 in Hardmen. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “The Football Hard Men Index No.2: Andoni Goikoetxea, aka the Butcher of Bilbao”

  1. Caleb says:

    this was already my favorite footy blog, but fletcher adds a whole new dimension!

  2. spectator says:

    don’t include vinnie jones it’s not worth it. who was that german guy who tried to kill van basten?

  3. medvedev says:

    …roy keane?

  4. AP says:

    What a terrible shame that he didn’t..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Fletch is an absolute touch of genius

  6. DC says:

    hard man? more like royal coward. thats a leg breaking tackle if ive ever seen one, diego got lucky. and according to your note, schuster wasnt as lucky

  7. Meji says:

    Yes keep up with Fletchers comments.. That “made” this post!

  8. Jon from Baskenland says:

    You moorons. Don´t mess with one of the most honests and skillful defenders in la Liga history just for the one sided point-of-view of the event, media-backed-ball licker Barcelona´s crap speakers. And neither with Athletic Club. In fact, didn´t deserve it?

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