Bradford City have just signed Aaron McLean from Hull City (or Hull Tigers, you decide). I don’t really know or care what he’s like as a player, but he is a mean looking bloke. In an era when most footballers care more about their hair than frightening opponents, it’s comforting to know that there are still some animals out there. Here’s a look at the toughest looking players from the modern game and some of the scariest from the good ole days.
McLean looks a bit like 50 Cent but a bit tougher. He’s dropping from the Premier League into League 1 where he will tell a whole new bunch of centre backs to watch their step or he’ll bust a cap in their mo’ fo’ing ass. Probably. Mean rating 8/10.
Skrtel isn’t a footballwe who has tattoos because Beckham got them, he’s got ink because it will help him in his career as a hitman when he retires from professional football. Mean rating 9/10.
Not known to many who don’t follow lower league English football, but Akinfenwa is a footballer with the physique of weightlifting-boxing-doorman. His nickname is Beast Mode and he claims he’s the strongest footballer in the world. I’m not going to argue with that. Mean rating 10/10.
Back in the sheds
Killer. An obvious nickname, but one that suited Kilcline. From Nottingham he was known for big hair, a moustache and heading balls that were below knee height, just because. Had the sort of stare that could turn milk at a thousand paces. Mean look rating 10/10.
Vinnie was a proper hard man. A better player than many remember too. While he always looked a bit mental in his playing days, he actually looks scarier now he’s a Hollywood hardman. Mean rating 7/10.
Remember him? Didier looked a little on edge, but proved his credentials as a tough looking kid after he was racially abused by Emre. Check out his karate kick to Emre’s nuts at 1.23 in this clip. Mean rating 5/10.
Big Dunc wasn’t just a football hardman, he was a certified Scottish lunatic. Also known as Duncan Disorderly, he put a guy who burgled his house in hospital for three nights, had three convictions for assault and did three month stretch in Glasgow’s notorious Barlinnie prison when he got his fourth conviction, an on-field head butt on John McStay. Had a face that’s frightened hundreds of children. Mean look rating 11/10.
Gattuso stood about the same size as an Oompa-Loompa in his bare feet, but had that slightly detached look about his eyes. You were never quite sure if he was going to play the perfect through ball or follow Cantona’s lead and kick a fan. Mean look rating 8/10.
Burns’ party trick was apparently to take his false teeth out and smile at opponents before the game to frighten the life out of them. This picture was taken after he had scored a hat trick. Don’t go over the top now lad.
Razor looked and acted like a Cockney doorman from the Coach and Horses in Whitechapel (I’ve no idea if this is an actual place). A spitting, snarling, permanently-stubbled fat bloke, Ruddock was every inch a pub footballer, transported to the top level of the game. Wouldn’t have stood for a player doing his hair before a game.
Missed any? Remember, it’s not about people who are tough (although that certainly helps), it’s about those who *look* tough. Double points to anyone who can come up with players who are still kicking a ball about for a living.