Despite football being a very physical sport, there are certain instances where losing your cool as a player can have huge implications. It might be just a nudge, a kick, a push or shove but even the faintest of actions can have way bigger implications.
The Catalan side was on fire but Madrid was able to match them. Ronaldo came off the bench to score the winning goal, making it 2-1. It was such a magnificent goal that even himself was surprised. This led to an extravagant celebration where he removed his shirt, just like his rival did some time back. This earned him a yellow card. He was booked the second time for diving which earned him marching orders. However, he lost his cool and pushed the referee. That shove earned him five-match suspension and it was monumental for Madrid who were finding it hard to get goals. The La Liga was gone!
This scenario was just a push but the infamous Zinedine Zidane head-butt was a notch higher. He is regarded as one of the best players to have featured in the game. He led France to the 2006 World Cup finaldespite him being close to retirement. He was close to delivering another World Cup but this headbutt surely earned him a red card and demoralized the French side. France had to wait 12 years to win another World Cup in 2018.
Both actions cannot be compared to that of the Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong. This one was downright ugly. His Kung Fu kick at the 2010 World Cup would forever remain his signature. Spain coming off Euro 2008 win wanted to lift the world title but they had the physical Netherlands to contend with.
Xabi Alonso and De Jong contested a loose ball, and it seems the player miscalculated his move and ended up with a Kung Fu kick full studs on into the chest of the Spaniard. The replay is always heartbreaking to see. Worst was he was only yellow carded.