Johannesburg: When English referee Howard Webb booked Dutch defender John Heitinga in the 57th minute of Sunday`s World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain, he was probably not aware that he was just writing his name into the history books.
Heitinga was the seventh player to be booked in the match, which is the highest number of bookings ever to be dished out in a World Cup final.
The Everton defender became only the fourth player in the history of the competition to be sent off in a final when he was booked for the second time in the second half of extra-time.
Thereafter Gregory van der Wiel, Joris Mathijsen, Andres Iniesta and Xavi were also booked, taking the total number of bookings to 14 and more than doubling the six bookings handed out in the 1986 final, when Argentina beat Germany 3-2.
Football`s ruling body FIFA first introduced red and yellow cards in 1970.
Before Heitinga received the seventh card of the game, Webb had already booked Dutchmen Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Mark van Bommel, Nigel de Jong and Robin van Persie, as well as Spaniards Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos.
Spanish defender Joan Capdevila found his name in the referee`s book after Heitinga, taking the number of booking for his side to three in the match, thereby totalling the three yellow cards the side had received in the six match leading up to the final.
Dutch striker Arjen Robben was the ninth player to be booked by Webb shortly before the end of 90 minutes.