‘The Surgeon Said It Could’ve Been Fatal’ – Iosif Rotariu, Victim Of Infamous Graeme Souness Horror Tackle, Describes Impact Of Dreadful Injury

Chris Wright

13th, March 2019


Embed from Getty Images

To this very day, Graeme Souness’ horrendous ‘tackle’ on Steaua Bucharest midfielder Iosif Rotariu endures as one of the worst, most grievously deliberate hatchet jobs the game has even witnessed.

Rangers were playing against Steaua in the 1988 European Cup when Enforcer Souey took it upon himself to obliterate Rotariu’s knee with a fully-fledged stamp…

Now aged 57, Rotariu appeared on Romanian television recently where he described the aftermath of the incident.

The Steaua man somehow managed to play on and Souness went completely unpunished, but the ramifications didn’t end there:

My lymph nodes burst after his tackle. I couldn’t feel my leg but I kept playing. The studs were big and made of iron and left deep wounds.

My surgeon told me that it could have been fatal had the boots caught me a little higher.

It could have been fatal. Blimey. Honestly, watching it back, we’re not overly surprised. It was thoroughly, thoroughly abhorrent.

That makes the sight of Souness having the temerity to complain to the referee that Rotariu had bled all over his socks ever more galling.

Posted in Injuries, Retro, Scottish football, Videos

Share this article: Email


  1. jackie wilshere says:

    I think Souey was complaining to the ref about his own “injuries” when he was nicked by the oppo closing him down at 6sec of the clip, pure diversion tactics

  2. Geraldo says:

    A reminder (as if we needed one) that Souness was a serial thug throughout his playing career and to this day remains – in my opinion – the most despicable piece of filth ever to (dis)grace a football pitch. Even Archie McPherson – who was well known for his Rangers “leanings” – said during commentary that night that he should have been ejected from the ground never mind sent off, such was the premeditated savagery of his actions. Not even a yellow card – just watch the video again and let that sink in…

Leave a Reply