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World Cup’s 101 Most Memorable Moments: Schumacher’s careless tackle

By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports Soccer Writer

Editor’s note: Each day between now and the kickoff of the first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we’ll unveil a different memory from World Cup history. The countdown from 101 continues with Toni Schumacher’s careless tackle.

Patrick Battiston had only been on the field for 10 minutes. Subbed on with the score tied 1-1 in the second half of France’s 1982 World Cup semi-final against West Germany, the Les Bleus defender now found himself racing toward a bouncing ball in front of the German goal with only keeper Toni Schumacher to beat. 

Schumacher charged off his line and tried to get there first, but he was too late. Battiston got off a left-footed shot that went wide, then took the full force of the 6-foot-1 backstop’s frame to the face. The French players and even German captain Manfred Kaltz signaled to the sidelines for help; the impact knocked Battiston unconscious, broke a couple of ribs and cost him two teeth. He was carried off the field on a stretcher. 

Die Mannschaft would add insult to the injury. Not only did Schumacher — who somehow wasn’t even given a foul, let alone a red card, for what many believe remains the dirtiest tackle ever in World Cup play — stay on the field, he helped his country advance to the finale by winning the first penalty shootout in tournament history.

Patrick Battiston loses teeth

Toni Schumacher wasn’t sent off of his reckless tackle.

One of the leading soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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