The toughest game in history: ‘The battle of Santiago’
Which was the toughest game in history? For many soccer romantics it is clear. This was none other than ‘The battle of Santiago‘, the duel that faced Chile, host of the World Cup 1962 against Italy. The kicks and blows flew. So much so that it is considered as the most violent game in history. And look what matches have been played.
It all came from cross-criticism from the Italian and Chilean press that heated up the atmosphere among fans but also among footballers who took the game as a personal matter.. And that was the second game of the World Cup for both.
‘The battle of Santiago’, a match only for the brave
This encounter was high risk, but for the footballers who played it. And it was that it had been cooking and heating for a few days before the game. The result was blows, abuse, kicks and a slip for the referee Ken Aston who years later invented football cards after looking at a traffic light. But that day without cards they were stiff to stop a meeting in which even the police had to intervene on different occasions. Coincidentally years later, It was Carlos Caszely, a Chilean at the time Levante player who saw himto the first red card in history in World 1974.
The match was a war. Italians already had a reputation for being tough and strong and although the National Stadium in Santiago de Chile was full, they did not wrinkle and it did not take long to release their first tarrascada. At seven minutes, Giorgio Ferrini was expelled for an entrance to Honorino Landa, which caused the start of hostilities between several players when the Italian player refused to leave the field. Finally, it had to be the Chilean police who took him out by force, while Aston argued with the photographers who had invaded the pitch.
Own Country gave the Italian a slap on the jaw Mario david that Aston decided not to sanction. Then it was David himself who hit the Chilean Leonel Sánchez who got up from the ground and hit him with another right punch to the jaw, the second that the Italian took. Aston once again did not want to know anything, who knows if pressed by the atmosphere that was breathed in the stadium of the Chilean capital.
In the end the Italian Mario david he lost his mind altogether and kicked him in the head. Sánchez who shortly before had punched him and this time the English referee did kick the Italian. The transalpinos were left with 9 and it was only the first part. And the footballers continued to distribute themselves at ease. It wasn't football, it was some version of street fighting.
The match finally ended by 2 a 0 in favor of Chile who took advantage of the circumstance of being with 2 more footballers. This meeting by the way, It brought much criticism to Aston for its home arbitration to which English responded “I was not refereeing a soccer game, but he was acting as a judge in a military conflict”. The Englishman did not whistle more matches that tournament.
The match ended with several serious footballers
‘The battle of Santiago‘ left several players seriously injured confirming that it was the most violent game in history. And it is that the punches and kicks flew with impunity before a referee who was overcome for the moment, the place and the atmosphere that was breathed there.
Mario David and Leonel Sánchez met a year later as teammates in some friendlies with AC Milan who was about to sign the Chilean but did not reach an economic agreement. There they were able to forget their old quarrels and even leave this photo to remember. Soccer stuff.