Benjamin Massing (born June 20, 1962 in Edéa; died 9 December, 2017) was a Cameroon international defender who committed one of the most cynical (and fantastic) fouls in the history of football.
Cameroon had to face holders Argentina in their opener on June 8 and the English press patronised them from the off, commenting that “who would’ve though a team from such a tiny, insignificant nation would even be able to watch a World Cup game on TV let alone challenge a proper team like Argentina.”
However, the ruthless Africans stunned the watching world by taking the lead through François Omam-Biyik’s trademark downward header as Argentina’s lank-haired, swarthy side became steadily more frustrated by a series of brutal fouls.
With minutes to go and history beckoning, Manning’s magic moment arrived.
Claudio Cannigia, who had already been the victim of multiple rugby tackles, an anvil to the head and a hit-and-run from an off-read vehicle, broke and skipped past two lunging Cameroon players.
As the wavy-haired talent neared the box, Massing came flying in at over 80 mph and caught him at thigh level with a karate kick, losing his boot in the process (many insist the stray boot is still inside Cannigia today).
Massing even managed a gesture of surprise as referee Michel Vautrot gave him his marching orders, but his job was done. Cameroon won 1-0 and he was a hero.
After serving his suspension, Massing returned to face England in the quarter-finals and conceded one of three penalties by taking a hedge trimmer to Gary Lineker.
Following World Cup 1990, Massing was never seen again. He is now in the football afterlife, presumably knackering several angels.
Benjamin Massing shares his name with gay model Benjamin Massing. The footballer has it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.