Damir Desnica, who was deaf, played soccer professionally
for teams in the old Yugoslavia nation. He was one of the
top players with the HNK Rijeka team (now in Croatia).
He helped his team defeat Real Madrid, 3-1, in a 1984 UEFA Cup
play. Playing against them again in the second leg (team with
most goals in two games advance to the next round), his
team lost 3-0 and was eliminated. It didn’t help when
Desnica was given a yellow card early in the 2nd game.
In the second half, the referee blew his whistle, stopping
the play. Desnica, who couldn’t hear, was not told that
the whistle blew, and continued playing. The referee then
gave him a second card (equalling a red card), earning
a game ejection.
The fans howled that he couldn’t hear the whistle but
the referee stood with his decision, thus hurting the
team in that crucial second game.
Desnica was said to have a pretty good career in
pro soccer for teams in his nation.