Dirty Tackle

Iker Casillas asked the ref to blow the final whistle early out of respect for Italy

Up 4-0 against a 10-man Italian side in the Euro 2012 final, Spain captain Iker Casillas made it that much harder to not like him by asking the officials to cut the three minutes of injury time a little short and blow the final whistle.

Casillas, who became the first player ever to win 100 international matches and also set a record by going 509 minutes without conceding a goal in the tournament (beating Italian legend Dino Zoff's previous record of 494 minutes) with that win, called to the referee's assistant and said, "Respect for the rival." "Respect for Italia," he repeated, his teammates had the ball in Italy's half yet again. He then said the score to make his point that enough was enough. As it happened, the referee did blow the final whistle immediately after Iker's request because, unbeknownst to Casillas, the full 93 minutes had actually been reached. Casillas then shook hands with the official he was speaking to before Spain's celebrations began.

It was a small thing and ended up being irrelevant, but the point here is the thought and that seems to be one of sportsmanship. So, respect for San Iker.