In order for any athlete to have made it to the professional level, they will have to be full of self confidence. On their journey they will have encountered dozens of people who put them down and tell them they're not good enough, and this could even be those closest to them. Here many people would fail, but the best athletes will know that they have the ability and work ethic to reach the top. This means that sports such as football are packed with self assured, confident individuals, and there is nothing wrong with this.
It also means that there are many players whose self belief seeps over into arrogance. The key difference being that an arrogant player will think that they are better than everyone else and therefore they are entitled to act and play how they wish. This will mean they often try to do too much themselves, they are unlikely to pass, they may ignore what the manager has to say, talk down to those around them and be rude to the media (and sometimes even fans). As this list will demonstrate, often these arrogant players are in fact the best players on the pitch, but their actions and attitude will often cost them and in many cases hold them back.
Being self assured and confident is encouraged and important in sports. This will often lead to arrogance, and these arrogant players are often impressive but not particularly likeable. They typically often clash with management and their teammates as they feel they are better than the team, and their interviews and media appearances are usually something to behold.
Here are the top 15 most arrogant football players in world football.
15 Wojciech Szczesny
14 Dani Osvaldo
Each club that Dani Osvaldo turns up at he seems to become ostracized shortly after, and this is down to his arrogance. He has a history of clashing with teammates and management, and this is because he thinks he is larger and better than the team. He was fined and suspended after punching teammate Erik Lamela whilst at Roma after not receiving a pass, he shouted at caretaker manager Andreazzoli after he was only given 15 minutes of playing time, and Osvaldo then consequently refused to attend the awards ceremony in protest. He picked up a suspension for a touchline fight for Southampton, and then just three weeks later he left teammate Jose Fonte with a suspected broken nose after a training ground spat.
13 Nicklas Bendtner
12 Joey Barton
11 Didier Drogba
10 Carlos Tevez
9 Samir Nasri
8 Adel Taarabt
7 Ashley Cole
6 Arjen Robben
5 Antonio Cassano
Another player that has shown incredible talent over the years but been held back by their attitude, Cassano has caused a lot of controversy. He has clashed with a number of top coaches; always a tell tale sign that a player believes in themselves perhaps a little too much. This includes disrespecting Luciano Spalletti when Cassano stated “you’re not coaching those useless players you had at Udinese. This isn’t your house, it’s my house”. He has also shown disregard for authority by flashing the “sign of the horns” at the referee after being dismissed.
4 Francesco Totti
Whilst Italy and Roma legend Francesco Totti has been mesmerising to watch over the years, he has also displayed plenty of arrogance and moments of madness on and off the pitch. His style of play could be described as arrogant as he will often look to embarrass opponents through lobs, back heels and fancy footwork. His goal celebrations are also notorious and come across as arrogant, but there are also incidents such as spitting at opponents which cannot be condoned and have lost Totti a lot of respect.
3 Mario Balotelli
Balotelli is perhaps the most infuriating player on this list, and the reason for this is that his arrogance is holding him back from becoming a great player. Countless managers have attempted to tame Balotelli and help him see how he can be great, but this never seems to work and he will resort to wild off pitch antics and arrogant play on the pitch. Jose Mourinho claimed he was “unmanageable” and he famously had a training ground spat with Roberto Mancini, and now he is out in the cold at Liverpool you wonder how many chances he has left.
2 Cristiano Ronaldo
No points for guessing this one, as Ronaldo is one of the most obvious cases of arrogance in football as he is such a high profile player and closely watched athlete. It is rare to read through the sports news without his name appearing somewhere, and with so much media attention it seems inevitable that the Real Madrid and Portugal superstar would have an ego. If you have ever watched Ronaldo take a free kick before then you can clearly see his arrogance, but he also has a cocky demeanour, throws tantrums and of course will take his shirt off at any given opportunity. His gelled hair, diamond earring and fact that he had his own museum opened certainly do not help his cause either.
1 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
They say that speaking in third person is a sign of narcissism or exhibits delusions of grandeur, and this could well be the case for Zlatan. The PSG striker has become famous for his outlandish quotes and astonishing self belief, and his referral to himself in third person has seen the phrase “to Zlatan” become a verb, which means to dominate or do something with extreme skill. Zlatan has been quoted as saying things such as “Wenger asked me to have a trial at Arsenal when I was 17. I turned it down. Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”, “a World Cup without me isn’t worth watching” and when asked what he bought his wife for her birthday he replied “nothing. She already has Zlatan”.
Despite Ibrahimovic’s astounding arrogance, he is still a much loved personality because his arrogance is so extreme and his quotes are so entertaining.
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