Most Hated Footballers in History
It’s all nice and well when players are model professionals, but some players are anything but professional. Everything they do is followed by controversy and hatred. Here we take a look at the top 10 most hated football players in history.
Top 10 Most Hated Footballers in History
10. John Terry
The Chelsea captain is considered a legend and leader by the Blues’ fans, but loathed by everyone else. Terry’s most infamous acts of controversy include having an affair with his former team-mate Wayne Bridge’s wife and using racist slur towards Rio Ferdinand’s brother Anton Ferdinand.
9. Ashley Cole
The AC Roma left-back played for Arsenal at the start of his career and was adored by the Gunners’ fans. However, after the club started playing hard ball over his contract extension and didn’t agree to raise his weekly wages, Cole went ballistic.
Ashley said in his autobiography, that he was driving his car when he got a call telling him that Arsenal would only be paying him 55,000£ a week. He was so taken aback, that he almost crashed his car.
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Ashley left for Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea the next season and immediately became one of the most hated and ridiculed players in the Premier League. His high wage demands and love of money earned him the nickname Cashley.
While at Chelsea, Ashley didn’t correct his behaviour and was reportedly heavily fined by the club for shooting at a work experience student with a .22 air rifle at Chelsea’s training ground.
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8. Joey Barton
Joey Barton has played for many clubs in his career, but wherever he went, he was always followed by controversy. He is known as one of the most outspoken football players around and regularly expresses his opinions on social media. This has earned him many fines and bans, but he never seems to learn from his mistakes.
His two most outrageous acts of controversy however, were when he almost blinded a Manchester City youth player during a Christmas party by stubbing-out a cigar in his eye, and when in 2007 he went on a drunken rampage and punched one man 20 times and later broke the teeth of a 16 year old boy
7. El-Hadji Diouf
The Senegalese forward has always been in the centre of controversy, whether it was arguing with refs, cheating, initiating fights with the opposition or provoking opposing fans. His most infamous action came in a Uefa Cup match, when Liverpool played against Celtic.
Celtic fans were unhappy with Diouf’s behaviour and started provoking him. Diouf didn’t hesitate and immediately launched a ball of phlegm towards several Celtic fans, in what is one of the most disgusting acts in football history.
6. Craig Bellamy
The Welshman’s talent was often overshadowed by the controversial style of play which he indulged in. Because of his behaviour he had to constantly change clubs, and he played for no less than 9 clubs in his career.
The most controversial moment he was involved in was, when he apparently attacked his Liverpool team-mate, John Arne Riise, with a golf club, after drinking a ton of alcohol during a night out in 2007.
5. Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor was one of the most promising players at the start of his career, and Arsenal fans thought they had found a suitable replacement for Thiery Henry when he first arrived at the club.
Things soon changed though, and when newly rich Manchester City came calling, he did his best to engineer a move away from Arsenal, which immediately made him a hated figure among Arsenal supporters.
The crescendo of this relationship came when the Mali international scored against his old club at the Eastlands. In his celebration, he ran the length of the pitch, just so he can celebrate in front of his former supporters.
4. Didier Drogba
The Ivory Coast international is adored wherever he plays. However, just like the other players on this list, he has had his fair share of controversies, and his cheating in particular, has been one of his most negative traits.
His two most controversial moments came when he was provoked by others. The first one was when Nemanja Vidic provoked him in the extra time of the Champions League final in Moscow. The Ivorian was furious and slapped him in the face, for which he deservedly got a red card.
The second incident came in a domestic cup match against Burnley, when the Chelsea man took a coin that was thrown at him from the Burnley fans and threw it back at them, injuring a Burnley fan in the process.
3. Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez is undoubtedly a great talent, but his love of diving and biting opposition players has made him one of the most hated players in history. Normal players never bite a player in their careers; the Uruguayan however, has done that three times already. On the list of players whose flesh he has tasted are Branislav Ivanovic, Giorgio Chellini and Otman Bakkal.
2. Andoni Goikoetxea
The former Spanish international was a decent player in his heyday; however, his love of brutal tackles on players made him a real villain among opposition supporters. Because of his vicious tackles, he was nicknamed ‘the Butcher.’
The worst tackle in his career was when he aggressively slid on none other than Diego Maradona and caused him to miss three months with an ankle injury. And just to give you an idea of how ruthless Andoni was, he himself has confirmed that he often brags to friends about injuring Maradona and also keeps the boot with which he injured the Argentinian.
1. Marco Materazzi
The Italian defender played his best football for Inter Milan and was sometimes used in defence for Italy when some of the other, more talented defenders, were unavailable. He was a decent player, but had a terrible temper and a tendency to provoke players.
He earned the first place on this list for his most infamous act of provocation during the 2006 World Cup final against France. That tournament was the last one for France’s Zinedine Zidane and he played tremendously throughout, and even earned the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament. Materazzi knew that if Italy had any chance of winning the game and the cup, he had to get Zidane sent off. And so he did.
In extra time, he went next to the French maestro, whispered something family related in his ear, and was promptly head-butted in the chest. Zidane was sent off, Italy won on penalties, and Materazzi had a beaming smile across his face.