In any profession, it’s highly likely that you’re going encounter someone and will have to work with people you don’t particularly like. Whether you work in an office or on the football pitch, being with the same people day in and day out can cause sparks to fly – there’s going to be one or two individuals that you just don’t get along with, that just rub you the wrong way.
Think about footballers for a sec; the majority of them are egotistical adults with huge salaries and without a care in the world. If these guys don’t like something or someone, they’re not going to keep quiet. We’ve seen plenty of instances where these guys have shown the true sides of their personalities on the pitch – mostly against the opposition but sometimes against members of their own team. But I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the locker rooms, team meetings and on the training ground. Plenty of stuff happens away from the prying eyes of the media; teammates have beef with each other and this sometimes develops into utter contempt – real feelings of hatred towards each other. These are 15 pairs of teammates who just couldn’t stand each other – who really and truly hated one another.
15 Bobby Charlton - Jack Charlton
Here’s a blast from the past. The name Bobby Charlton is synonymous with Manchester United – with whom he made over 600 appearances – and the England national team. He was integral in England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, as was his brother, Jack Charlton. They were teammates at international level, but there was no brotherly love between the two. Heard about sibling rivalry? The Charltons took it to the extreme. In fact, they were never too fond of each other – they’d endured a spiky relationship with each other ever since they were kids.
14 Emlyn Hughes - Tommy Smith
Emlyn Hughes and Tommy Smith played together for Liverpool in the 1970s. There was plenty of animosity there between the two; they just didn’t get on – Smith was constantly taking swipes at his teammate and Hughes hit back now and again.
Smith was a local lad and hated the fact that Hughes had been given the captaincy and that he himself had been overlooked. Many years after that period, Smith spoke out: “It was my club and I’d been there a damn sight longer than Hughes. Playing for Liverpool was my life so why should I let this two-faced little so-and-so spoil my footballing career?”
13 John Fashanu - Lawrie Sanchez
Fashanu was an aggressive and very physical player on the pitch, but could also handle himself off it. He was a black belt in karate which came in handy when he found himself toe-to-toe with his arch enemy, Lawrie Sanchez.
They both played for Wimbledon in the “Crazy Gang” era – a term coined by the English media to describe the crazy antics of a lot of the lads who were in the Wimbledon locker room during the 80s and 90s. Both Fashanu and Sanchez were part of the reason Wimbledon got lumbered with that nickname, however they certainly weren’t crazy about one another. They just hated each other, didn’t see eye to eye just rubbed each other the wrong way. Things came to a head one day during a training day bust-up.
12 Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Rafael van der Vaart
11 Andy Cole - Teddy Sheringham
Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham played together for Man United and England for many years and formed a formidable striking partnership. Seeing them go about their business on the pitch, you wouldn’t think that there was any unrest; they’re professionals and did what they did for the team, putting their differences aside, but simmering under the surface there was real animosity towards each other.
10 John Terry - Wayne Bridge
What happened in this instance is possibly the worst thing one can do to a teammate – club and international teammate. They were both at Chelsea and established England international players together, but all the while John Terry was hiding a nasty secret and was betraying Wayne Bridge in the worst possible way.
9 Joey Barton - Jamie Tandy
Joey Barton’s one of English football’s most controversial figures. He’s never too far away from getting fined, banned or suspended, and has made a ton of enemies, both on the pitch and off it, during the course of his career. He specializes in rubbing people the wrong way, but there’ve been a whole host of instances where he’s taken things way too far.
8 Robert Lewandowski - Jakub Blaszczykowski
Today, Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world. He had a great start to his professional career, scoring goals for fun in his native Poland, and now he’s become a firm favorite with the German champions, Bayern Munich. Before joining Bayern, his first foray into German football was with Borussia Dortmund. It was here he became teammates with fellow Polish international, Jakub Blaszczykowski.
7 Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Oguchi Onyewu
Zlatan features on this list once again. He’s had feuds with many different players during the course of his career; we’ve mentioned the beef he had with his Ajax teammate, but six years on the fire hadn’t simmered down. This time he was at AC Milan, and the player to feel the wrath of Zlatan was his teammate, Oguchi Onyewu. Oguchi’s a powerful defender and although he didn’t play a league game for Milan, he still made the headlines.
6 Lothar Matthaus - Stefan Effenberg
German midfielders, Matthaus and Effenberg hated each other’s guts, but credit to them as they maintained their professionalism on the pitch. But when Effenburg’s – whose career was littered with controversy – career was winding down, he released his autobiography, and that’s when a lot of dirty laundry was aired. He berated his former German captain, Matthaus, calling him “a big mouth” and “a quitter.” The book also had an entire chapter dedicated to Matthaus, titled “What Lothar Matthäus knows about football." What was in that chapter? Nothing, it was just a blank page – quite comical actually.
Matthaus has also been very vocal regarding what he thinks of Effenberg. While he was still playing, he told the media that Bayern should get rid of Effenberg immediately because he was weakened and had lost his touch.
5 Mauro Icardi - Maxi Lopez
These two were once the best of buddies and strong childhood friends. They both hail from Argentina and played for the Argentina Under 20 team together; Mauro was the only one who graduated to the senior team. Maxi must have therefore been delighted when his mate from back home joined him in Italian football. Maxi was already playing for Catania when Mauro joined Sampdoria, and then Maxi later joined the same team on loan. But this period would mark the end of their friendship.
4 Oliver Kahn - Jens Lehmann
These two were once the best goalkeepers on the planet. Oliver Kahn made his name playing for Bayern Munich, and for many years he was also a stalwart in the German national team. Meanwhile Jens Lehmann was doing as good as he could have done; if he represented any other nationality he’d walk right into the international setup, but because he was competing with Kahn, his appearances were sporadic. Up until 2006, Kahn was the German first choice keeper, but a new manager bought a new change of fortune for Lehmann.
3 Rio Ferdinand - John Terry
John Terry features on this list once again, and once again it’s another one of his England teammates that he’s managed to anger.
In 2011, Terry was investigated following allegations of racial abuse. He had ‘allegedly’ gone off on one at Anton Ferdinand, the police got involved, looked at the footage, and after their investigation, the FA took matters into their own hands. Look at the footage and you can very clearly see that something derogatory – some racial slur – spewed out of Terry’s potty mouth. Lip readers got involved and while no one could ascertain what was said exactly, they concluded that Terry had referred to Anton’s race and skin color – he wasn’t shouting about how beautiful he looked! He was eventually charged with "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour in reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Ferdinand."
2 Ousmane Dabo - Joey Barton
A lot of Barton’s teammates – Man City in general – would love to eradicate the period Joey Barton was at the club. He’ll be remembered only for the controversy he caused; no one will remember him more than Ousmane Dabo, and it won’t be fond memories. In 2007, Dabo was involved in a training ground bust-up with Barton. Barton hit Dabo several times which resulted in Dabo having to be rushed to hospital. The extent of the injuries were horrific. It appeared as if Barton had used Dabo’s head as a football, and it was even suspected he had a detached retina.
1 Gareth Bale - Cristiano Ronaldo
It’s not a strange scene to see Cristiano Ronaldo gesticulating wildly and throwing temper tantrums on the pitch. He loves to score and that’s why he’s on the pitch – that’s all he really cares about; credit to him, it’s something that’s kept him at the top of world football for many years. But when Gareth Bale made the move to Spain to join him at Real Madrid, he loved to score too; Ronaldo saw him as a threat, and it didn’t help matters that Bale was now the star – the main man at Madrid. They had to work together in order to dominate Europe, but initially, it seemed as if each player wanted to hog the glory. Ronaldo’s frustrations were evident a couple of times when this played out on the pitch; Bale failed to pass to Ronaldo, who would’ve had a tap in by his standards, and instead went for goal himself and missed. Ronaldo was furious and wasn’t shy in showing it.
There have also been rumors of over-competitiveness in training between the two, something Bale’s found hard to deal with. The sooner Ronaldo and Bale realize they’re teammates, the easier everything will be for Los Blancos.
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