This Defender’s Career Was Ruined After Tackling Messi

“It is obvious that it isnot a red card,” defended José Mourinho after losing 1-2 to FC Barcelona in the first round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League 2005/06 back in several years back. Chelsea had to end the match with 10 men after their left back, Asier del Horno Cosgaya, was sent off in the 37th minute. Having taken the lead first thanks to Thiago Motta’s own goal, a lack of players made Petr Cech’s goal successfully penetrated twice in the last 18 minutes. John Terry wrongly anticipated Ronaldinho’s free kick to equalize (72). Eight minutes later, Samuel Eto’o snatched the Blaugrana’s win after receiving Rafael Márquez’s pass.

Del Horno’s red card became a hot topic during that week. The reason is, not only changing the match, the violation he committed against Lionel Messi was also considered too harsh by some people. One of them is Deco de Souza. “Del Horno’s offense is clearly something very strong. Even though he played really well before he got the red card. Now we just need to play the same way at Camp Nou,” said Deco.

Barcelona camp left everything to the referee. Frank Rijkaard, Oleguer Presas and Samuel Eto`o do not want to say too much about the Messi and Del Horno incidents. But the referee who was the judge of the match, Terje Hauge, also admitted he was doubtful about the decision he had taken.

“I think it’s important to see it in person, what happened before that. When you look at the reruns, you could be fooled. I have a strong feeling that the red card changed the match. This will be a topic of conversation in the next few days. But that’s what happened, it was a difficult decision, “he admits.

Meanwhile, the Chelsea camp on the field considered Messi too dramatic. Asier del Horno and Mourinho claim Barcelona damaged the young Messi by teaching the Argentine to cheat. Del Horno’s offense to Messi made Chelsea attacked by the public. A spokesman for the Blues even had to step in.

“We condemn all threats that come to the Chelsea website. We monitor what goes to the team’s website and will track down the people responsible for this,” he was quoted as saying by The Independents’ reporter.

As time passed, the incident began to be forgotten. Especially after Didier Drogba appeared theatrically when he met Barcelona three years later. Many classic stories occurred in the meetings of Chelsea and Barcelona, ​​making the incidents of Asier del Horno and Lionel Messi the umpteenth number.

However, the incident could not be separated from Del Horno. The incident indirectly damaged the player’s career who was born in Barakaldo, January 19, 1981. Asier del Horno landed at Stamford Bridge in good standing. He was named as Mourinho’s main target in the 2005 summer transfer market. At that time he was a Spanish National Team player and Chelsea really needed a left-back. Fund of 8 million pounds was later issued by the Blues with high hopes.

“Asier [del Horno] is a great player and we do need someone to fill the left-back post. He will add strength to the Chelsea squad,” said Mourinho after formalizing the transfer of Del Horno from Athletic Bilbao. The Basque-born player immediately became Mourinho’s first choice thanks to an injury to Wayne Bridge. He contributed with one pass in the Community Shield against Arsenal and saw Chelsea to their maiden trophy in 2005/06.

Del Horno has only missed eight of the 26 Premier League games before the Messi incident. Mostly, he was rested when Chelsea met the mid-table teams down. Only one big game that he passed, namely against Arsenal. Del Horno’s form has always been solid, but not up to Mourinho’s standards. “Asier has shown himself to have the capability. But he has to be even more ambitious. He has two months to prove himself and move forward. If not, the path he has is just backwards,” Mourinho said a month before meeting Barcelona in the Champions League.

Del Horno’s performance against Barcelona was not bad either. Deco even admitted this. Unfortunately, the team was under attack for his actions. Then Paulo Ferreira, who was originally a right-back, also performed well despite being forced to change sides to become left-back. Finally, Del Horno was dumped by Chelsea, returning to Spain.

Asier del Horno’s career has never been the same since then. Playing with teams like Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Real Valladolid and Levante, Del Horno is nothing more than a substitute player. The figure previously considered to have a bright future in the Spanish National Team and Chelsea dropped the class after one season with the Blues.

He is even often cited as one of Chelsea’s worst purchases, being labeled harshly despite bagging only two yellow cards and one red card while at Chelsea. The trace of his professional career journey for 13 years, the only serious offense he committed against Lionel Messi. The one that ruined his whole career.


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