Top of the chops! The footballers who got their karate kicks on the pitch
Kick off: Esteban Alvarado tackles the pitch invader
AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban was sent off on Wednesday night for stopping a pitch invader in his tracks with a flying kick.
The match against Ajax was abandoned when Alkmaar coach Gert Jan Verbeek ordered his team off the pitch and the match was abandoned.
But the Costa Rica captain is not the first to summon the spirit of Hong Kong Phooey on the football pitch.
Here are our top five kung fu footballers.
The flamboyant Frenchman was banned for 8 months, sentenced to 120 hours of community service, fined 30,000and stripped of the French captaincy after assaulting a Crystal Palace fan with a kung fu kick to make Bruce Lee proud.
“King Eric” defended his actions at apress conference by saying: “When seagulls follow the trawler, it”s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” And that is surely the best excuse for an inexplicable outburst of violence the football world has ever known.
The Manchester United and Leeds legend later described the attack as the highlight of his career.
Infamous: Eric Cantona with his kung-fu kick on a Palace supporter
English football fans may have laughed when a streaker dressed as Borat took to Wembley”s hallowed turf in a friendly with Kazakhstan.
But there was little room for comedy later that season when Kairat and Lokomotiv Astana knocked the whole football thing on the head after a nasty challenge in favour of a scrap, Kazakhstani-style.
Lokomotiv”s Radmir Muksinova bounded off the substitutes bench to get involved but soon found himself on the floor when Kairat”s Armand Masimzhanov drop-kicked him in the back.
Masimzhanov was banned for life and left for the US in search of Pamela Anderson. OK, he didn”t.
Nigel De Jong
A little less graceful was Nigel de Jong”s bizarre challenge on Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup final between Holland and Spain.
The Dutch tried their best to disrupt Spain”s tiki-taka passing but de Jong overstepped the mark when he flew studs-up into Alonso”s chest midway through the first half.
English referee Howard Webb showed uncharacteristic leniency and gave the Manchester City midfielder a yellow card while Alonso writhed aroundin agony. Which is rare for a Spaniard.
Dutch courage: De Jong”s bizarre challenge on Xabi Alonso
Think of Brazilian football. Think of the silky skills, think of the great goals. Think of under-19 football, with none of the pressures of the professional game. Think again.
When a match between the youth teams of Sport Recife and Vasco de Gama descended into a brawl, Recife goalkeeper did his best Jackie Chan impression and kicked Vasco”s Elivelton in the back.
The 18-year-old was given a lifetime ban from football and police chiefs wanted to charge the keeper with attempted murder. Silky skills indeed.
There may be 1.3billion people in China but not many of them are known for their step-overs. Shi Yanlu hopes that will change.
His idea, backed by the Chinese Football Federation is to combine football with kung fu, which could see China”s national team somersaulting and karate-chopping their way to World Cup victory. Or so the theory goes.
“They have superb physical qualities, and they are learning things very quickly. We will try to meld the kung fu into the football training, hopefully improving the level of Chinese football,” Yanlu said.
Not sure the kit would catch on though…