Mark Van Bommel got punched in the face during last night’s Coppa Italia quarterfinal between Milan and Lazio. He had it coming. It’s not so much the studs-in tackles, the testicle tweaks or the homicidal elbows that distinguish the Dutchman, but the frequency, the shamelessness and the restraint. He never injures, just causes an immense amount of pain. Van Bommel neither pantomimes nor feigns innocence, he is dissociated.
It is a shame that Van Bommel did not predate satellite television and the Internet. Scarcity and incomplete analysis would have enhanced his legend. Here are some of his greatest hits.