The game of football always have some needle – and this pair of figures did not hold any thread back when it was time to sew rifts and serve proper gossip for the pundits, fans and media to feast on. Most of the time, it transits to one of the pair receiving heavy fines or the other walking the pitch of shame from fans during matches. Nonetheless, the truth still remains that it has never ended well and favoured any of the parties involved. In no particular order, here are the vilest insults ever thrown in the beautiful world of football:
SIR ALEX FERGUSON VS REAL MADRID
During the transfer saga of Ronaldo to Real Madrid in 2008, Ferguson was asked to comment on speculation that a deal had been agreed to sell the superstar at the end of the season. It was an emphatic no: “Do you think I would get into a contract with that mob. Jesus Christ, no chance. I wouldn’t sell them a virus.”
This made Manchester United fans happy but unfortunately, Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.
PATRICE EVRA VS LILIAN THURAM
“Walking around with books on slavery in glasses and a hat does not turn you into MalcolmX.”
France’s spectacular buffooner at the 2010 World Cup drew criticism from all over the country especially from Thuram, fueled by the dying legacy which he and the former generation had done so much to build. It was particularly vocal and demanded that Evra should never be allowed to play for Les Bleus again.
Evra then took aim at Thuram’s public image. Unfairly, the former left-back is among the most intelligent and socially-conscious players around.
DIEGO MARADONA VS PELE
“Pele should go back to the museum.”
Maradona’s multiple insults deserve their own feature, but his repeated swipes at Pele have always been of greater significance.
In this case, taking exception to the Brazilian’s coaching credentials before the 2010 World Cup; Maradona was in a particularly burning mood. The binary relationship between the two and the ceaseless debate over their collective greatness drips with personal contempt.
ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC VS PEP GUARDIOLA
The legacy of one of the most meaningless transfers in history, Ibrahimovic’s hatred towards Guardiola has its roots in the 2009 deal which brought him to Barcelona from Inter Milan in exchange for Samuel Eto’o and a sickening lot of cash.
“Guardiola was staring at me and I lost it. I thought, ‘There is my enemy, scratching his bald head!’ I yelled: ‘you haven’t got any balls.’”
Pundits can say Ibrahimovic didn’t really ‘blow it’ at the Camp Nou: his statistics were actually very healthy, but his inability to adapt to the traditional style created a lasting spite which lasts till date.
JOSE MOURINHO VS ARSENE WENGER
“I think he is one of these people who is a Viewer. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, and speaks about Chelsea.” The comment above was made after Wenger had suggested that 2005 Chelsea were more vulnerable than their recent results, was probably his biggest nosing around and continues to represent him at his Pinocchio’s worst.