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.
One of Graeme Souness victims told the story of a horrific tackle. During our morning show Romanian legend Iosif Rotariu (now 57) said his life could have been in danger following one of the worst tackles in football history. #gsplive pic.twitter.com/dwoQTsV7rS
— Costin Ștucan (@CostinStucan) 11 March 2019