With Madrid derbies traditionally fiery contests, last weekend’s Champions League clash between the pair was given extra edge by the presence of Mario Mandzukic – a player with a chequered history of clashes on the field.
A prolific goalscorer in the Bundesliga, the Croatia international has adapted well to life in La Liga but has maintained his reputation for attracting trouble.
Bloodied by a collision with Los Blancos full-back Dani Carvajal, the 28-year-old remains a doubt for Wednesday’s second leg.
Despite this, we’ve decided to take a look back at five unsavoury clashes involving Atleti’s very own Super Mario.
Mario Mandzukic v Sergio Busquets
Messing with Barcelona’s perennial play-actor was always likely to land the Croatian in trouble and things were no different when Atleti met the Catalans earlier in the season.
What started as an ordinary clashing of players soon evolved into a bizarre thumb-war tussle and an eventual coming together between the two, which was embarrassing for all involved.
Mario Mandzukic v Alex Song
A contender for arguably the stupidest red card in World Cup history, Alex Song’s Mortal Kombat-inspired elbow smash attack on the Croatian was no random crime by any means.
The 28-year-old forward knew exactly what he was doing when colliding with the Cameroon international and was only too happy to fall to the floor in a heap when the collision came.
Mario Mandzukic v Kevin Grosskreutz
Bundesliga encounters between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are always heated affairs, but Mandzukic managed to crank up the temperature a bit more during his time with the Bavarians.
Falling to the ground all-too-easily for Grosskreutz’s liking, the Croatian then became involved in a coming together of heads with the BVB man that was petty to say the least.
Mario Mandzukic v Johann Gudmundsson
Picture the scene: Your country is 1-0 up and heading into the World Cup when, for no apparent reason, your star striker decides to unleash a karate-style kick to one of your opponent’s legs.
That was what happened with Croatia and Mandzukic last year, with the 28-year-old missing the first crucial group game of the tournament – an unfortunate 2-1 loss to Brazil – in the process.
Mario Mandzukic v David Luiz
Never one to shy away from a fight himself former Chelsea and current PSG nutmeg victim David Luiz went toe-to-toe with the Croatian during the 2012 Champions League final.
Lining up for the aforementioned Blues, the Brazilian had little time for Mandzukic’s antics and may have had the last laugh in lifting the trophy after victory on penalties.
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