Disagreements are a common occurrence in football. You’ve got opponents trash-talking and pushing you around at every corner, trying to get a reaction – but what happens when teammates clash? Well, sometimes they make up and sometimes they bottle up their rage so much, it erupts in a burst of violence.
Top Eleven is here to remind you of some of the most heated arguments and brawls between players on the same team.
11. Steve McManaman and Bruce Grobbelaar
Liverpool’s Steve McManaman and Bruce Grobbelaar were obviously quite frustrated after conceding to rivals Everton during the 1993/1994 Premier League. The goalkeeper was furious, screaming and appearing to be giving McManaman some sort of orders or even telling him to leave the pitch. We can’t say it was ever really a serious fight, but tempers were very hot nonetheless.
10. Robben against Bruno Martins and Philipp Lahm
We’re sure Arjen Robben is a victim of many rough tackles and mean punches on the pitch that go unnoticed, but it seems that his own competitive nature is the cause of the problem. Apart from being accused of shameless diving, the Dutchman managed to start minor rows with Bruno Martins Indi and Philipp Lahm. Seriously, how in the world do you pick a fight with Philipp Lahm?
9. Sokratis and Arnautovic
Amidst a 2013 Werder Bremen relegation crisis, current Stoke star Marko Arnautovic had a falling-out with Greek teammate Sokratis Papastathopoulos after experiencing a somewhat careless tackle. The Austrian international then refused to accept his teammate’s apology right away, which caused Papastathopoulos to shove and threaten him. And then some more.
8. Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner
During their time at Arsenal, Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner had a locker-room altercation which almost turned ugly – Bendtner was accused of disrespecting his fellow teammates by wearing trainers, and apparently this set off the Togolese striker so much, the rest of the squad had to get involved and pull him apart from the Dane.
7. Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo
“I told him he should pass it to me. He replied I was right. The same situation happened against Croatia again. Everyone can make a mistake. But when I told him again, he replied: Get off my back!”
This is how Cameroon’s Benoit Assou-Ekotto explained trying to head-butt teammate Benjamin Moukandjo during the 2014 World Cup. He did apologize the day after, saying the incident made him feel embarrassed.
6. Freddy Ljungberg and Olof Mellberg
The two Swedes had their share of rows while playing for their national team, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic acting as the middle-man and trying to calm things down. Ljungberg and Mellberg constantly accused one another of playing poorly, and sometimes these words would result in a tackle like this one:
5. Graeme Le Saux and David Batty
During Blackburn’s 1995 Champions League encounter with Spartak Moscow, Graeme Le Saux suffered a broken hand after punching teammate David Batty. Batty had previously criticized Le Saux for taking the ball away from him and then losing it. Yikes.
4. Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise
The famous golf club celebration is what Craig Bellamy is known for. The former Liverpool man once explained he hit John Arne Riise with a golf club on the back simply because he refused to sing at a team karaoke night. He did apologize, though, stating that such behavior was stupid and uncalled for.
3. Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer
A disagreement on whether or not the ball should have been passed turned bad really quickly during Newcastle’s home match against Villa in 2005. With their team down 3-0, Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer both managed to get sent off, throwing punches and hissing at each other along the way.
2. Joey Barton and Ousmane Dabo
This Man City incident is not one of your run-of-the-mill bust-ups. Ousmane Dabo required hospital treatment after being punched several times by bad boy Joey Barton. Barton then had to serve a jail sentence and do community work, but still had the nerve to call Dabo “a p***y” for reporting the incident to the police.
1. Mario Balotelli and just about everybody
“I could write a book of 200 pages of my two years at Inter with Mario, but the book would not be a drama – it would be a comedy”, once said Jose Mourinho.
Whilst in Man City, the Italian striker had fights and disagreements with Roberto Mancini, Vincent Kompany, Aleksandar Kolarov, Micah Richards…the list could go on. He wanted to take all the penalties, all the free-kicks and be the undisputed no.1 on the pitch. We all know how that turned out. Why always you, Mario?