8 pairs of team-mates who hated each other ft. Man Utd, Liverpool & Arsenal

Quick Reads

As a football supporter, it may be hard to stomach that some of your club’s players hate each other, but that has been the case at Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid in recent years.

Having a little tiff on the field is one (brilliant) thing – think Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer’s punch-up in 2005 – but some team-mates simply don’t get along, full stop.

We’ve taken a look at eight feuds between players who had to train together every day and play at the highest level every Saturday, despite hating each other’s guts.

Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole

When on the pitch together, the pair scored a goal every 84.8 minutes, but the dislike stretches back to Cole’s England debut, when the striker replaced Sheringham only for his offer of a handshake to be snubbed.

“I would rather sit down and have a cuppa with Neil Ruddock, who broke my leg in two places in 1996, than with Teddy Sheringham,” Cole said.

William Gallas and Kolo Toure

The feud between Toure and Gallas ran so deep that the pair didn’t even communicate when on the pitch together.

It was reported that the cause was Gallas’ famous sit-down protest at the end of a 2-2 draw with Birmingham, but Toure says it goes way back.

The Ivorian has refused to reveal the real reason, however, saying: “If we start talking about that then it will be a big story.”

One of life’s true mysteries.

Lothar Matthaus and Stefan Effenberg

The German duo, who lined up together at Bayern Munich, at least managed to maintain their on-pitch professionalism.

But, rather wonderfully, Effenberg included a full chapter in his autobiography titled ‘What Lothar Matthaus knows about football’. It was followed by a blank page.

Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise

On a team night out in Barcelona, Riise refused Bellamy’s request for him to sing karaoke.

As a result, the Bellamy came into Riise’s hotel room and spanked the Norwegian’s arse with a golf club. A “thwack”, as Bellamy describes it in his autobiography.

Both players went on to score in a famous 2-1 win in the Camp Nou, with Bellamy’s celebration a particular highlight.

Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski

For some, Robben’s style can make him a frustrating player to watch – and be on a team with, at least if Lewandowski’s experience is anything to go by.

After arriving at Bayern, the Poland international regularly got visibly frustrated with Robben’s selfishness and struggled to strike up any connection – on and off the pitch.

Jens Lehmann and Manuel Almunia

Lehmann famously didn’t like playing second fiddle, falling out with Oliver Kahn at international level as they competed for the No.1 shirt with Germany.

And Almunia, who was widely regarded as one of the nicest in that Arsenal dressing room, said he had no idea why Lehmann had such hostility towards him.

But the German made numerous digs aimed at Almunia in the press, at one point saying: “To be sitting on the bench behind somebody who only started to play when he was 30 is not funny.”

Romario and Edmundo

Romario was re-signed by Vasco De Gama in 1999 to partner Edmundo in attack, but the damage was already done.

After Edmundo had replaced his old friend in the Brazil squad for the 1998 World Cup, Romario placed a huge cartoon of him on the toilet door in his Rio bar, a joke which didn’t go down well.

They argued through the press but started competing even for women in a nightclub. “We arrived at the club and there was me in one corner and him in the other; I was prettier, I had the chat. So, we started to clash,” Edmundo once said.

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READ: Edmundo & Romario: The amazing Brazil strikers who hated each other’s guts

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael Van Der Vaart

We couldn’t leave Zlatan out of this one, and his bust up with Van Der Vaart is the best in a long list of he’s had over the years.

Team-mates at Ajax, the pair featured against each other in an international friendly, with Van Der Vaart claiming Ibrahimovic deliberately injured him.

“He claimed in the papers that I’d injured him on purpose. What kind of sh*t was that?” the Swede wrote in his autobiography.

The pair had a meeting with manager Ronald Koeman and Ibrahimovic lost it, threatening to break Van Der Vaart’s legs if he didn’t apologise.


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