10 Worst Reunions in World Football History

Cheyenne Hollis@@cheyennelhollisCorrespondent IApril 12, 2012

10 Worst Reunions in World Football History

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    Juliet Capulet mused about partings being such a sweet sorrow. What she would have made of reunions is anyone's guess.

    Parting company in the football can bring about a range of emotion in fans. Most of these depend on the circumstances of the departure. 

    When a player or coach returns to face a former club that he left on bad terms, the match ends up taking on a life of its own.

    Juliet was fortunate enough to not have to face Romeo after their final parting, but chances are he would not have been pleased with the fake death ploy.

    Players and managers reunited with their former club would wish they were as lucky to avoid these meetings.

    Here are the 10 worst reunions in football history.  

Andy Carroll, Jose Enrique, Craig Bellamy and Kenny Dalglish Embarrassed

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    We will throw in a bonus with the most recent case of a horrible reunion.

    Liverpool's encounter against Newcastle was a return to forget for the trio of former Magpie players and former NUFC manager Kenny Dalglish who now ply their trade for Liverpool. 

    The sheer quantity of players coming back to face Newcastle made this clash unique. By the team the final whistle blew, Liverpool had been run ragged by Newcastle, and many fans blamed the ex-Newcastle contingent.

    Andy Carroll missed several quality chances and diving in a comical fashion to find a way past his former teammates. He rounded off his afternoon by storming off in a huff after being substituted.

    Jose Enrique was forced to eat his words after the final whistle. The Spaniard had took to Twitter to criticize management, famously saying the following:

    The club is allowing all the major players of the team to go. Seriously, do you think it is the fault of the players? Andy, nobby etc etc. This club will never again fight to be among the top 6 again with this policy.

    Newcastle's win over Liverpool continued the club's push for a Champions League, and moved them a cool 11 points clear of the Reds.

    It was also nightmare for Dalglish, who is not remembered fondly on Tyneside. His policy of buying old Liverpool players during his spell at St. James Park did not sit well with the Toon Army.

    Despite all of Liverpool's success, this is one reunion the club will want to forget. 

    Now on to the list.

Nicky Butt Forgot Which Team He Was Playing for Against Manchester United

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    It is often believed Nicky Butt was Manchester United's man of the match in their 2004-05 FA Cup semifinal against Newcastle United.

    The only problem with this is the fact Butt was a Newcastle United player.

    Butt only exacerbated the problem by joking with his former Manchester United teammates after the final whistle, even though his team, Newcastle United, was thumped 4-1.  

    The Toon Army quickly turned on the man Pele named the best player at the 2002 World Cup. 

    This reunion was a disaster for Newcastle and Butt.

    Butt would soon be loaned out, and it would take years before the St. James Park faithful would trust him again in the black and white strip. 

Roberto Baggio Left His Heart in Firenze

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    Roberto Baggio's move from Fiorentina to Juventus caused riots in Firenze, and greatly altered the history of La Viola.

    It also put Baggio in an uncomfortable situation when the two teams met in 1990. Baggio, still loyal to Fiorentina, refused to take a penalty and was quickly substituted.

    He would leave the field wearing a Fiorentina scarf, causing anger among Juventus supporters and tainting his spell in Turin.

    Giancarlo Rinaldi does a fantastic job of recapping the 'Great Refusal' here.  

    Baggio was one of the calmest penalty takers in the world, but he will always be remembered for the one he missed and the one he didn't take. 

USA's Golden Boy Loses His Luster

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    Here are a few facts about soccer in America at the start of 2005:

    Landon Donovan was the golden boy of soccer in the states. Donovan and the San Jose Earthquakes were synonymous with each other. The rivalry between the two California clubs was still not considered to be on the level of some of the derbies back East. 

    That all changed in 2005 when Donovan joined the rival Los Angeles Galaxy. San Jose fans laid in wait for Donovan to return to Spartan Stadium.

    When the two were reunited, Spartans let him have hit, booing him merciless. To make matters worse, Donovan put in an awful performance in his Galaxy were crushed 3-0 by an amped up Earthquakes team.

    Donovan had hoped the fans would be more respectful towards him, and appeared genuinely upset at how he was treated. He would have the last laugh, however.

    San Jose would move to Houston following the season, and the city would be without a team until 2008, allowing Donovan to avoid any further reunions with the jilted Earthquakes' fans.  

Harry Redknapp Diaster Reunion on the South Coast

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    Harry Redknapp's move from Portsmouth to Southampton was a bizarre one. The Saints were looking like a team destined for relegation, which they would ultimately achieve.  

    The lowlight of a disastrous time at St. Mary's for Redknapp came when led Southampton back to face fierce rivals and his former club, Portsmouth.

    The toxic atmosphere at Fratton Park visibly impacted Redknapp and Southampton, as they were crushed 4-1 in a heated reunion most Pompey fans would soon forget about.  

    Fratton Park would soon be home to Redknapp again. He quickly won over the fans who dubbed him Judas a few months prior and all was forgotten.  

    Football fans are fickle, and the love-hate-love relationship between Portsmouth and Redknapp is one of the most curious. He is certainly the only person on the list to have one of the worst and best reunions with one club.  

Sol Campbell's Cruel Return to White Hart Lane

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    Sol Campbell's free transfer from Tottenham to Arsenal is one of the most controversial moves in sports history.

    He tried to explain his reasoning behind the switch, but Spurs fans refuse to accept it. In fact, then years on and they were still abusing Campbell with the same passion.  

    The reunion between Campbell and Spurs is not bad because either side played particularly poorly. It is one of the worst reunions in football history because of the atmosphere at White Hart Lane that day.

    It had all the fury of the Roman Coliseum as Spurs' fans were baying for blood. They would leave disappointed, as the matched ended 1-1

Alfredo Di Stefano Shows River Plate What They Were Missing...in 15 Seconds

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    Alfredo di Stefano is a legend

    He also managed to embarrass his employers when out on loan. River Plate decided to loan out a young di Stefano to Huracan in 1946.

    When the two sides for the first time, di Stefano was so motivated to ruin the reunion for River Plate that he managed to score in the games first 15 seconds. 

    River were not too put off by this and brought di Stefano into the first team the following. He would only be there for a short time before showing up at Real Madrid much to the dismay of Barcelona who had thought they had secured his signature. 

Adebayor Winds Up Arsenal Fans Yet Again

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    Emmanuel Adebayor did not have the best relationship with Arsenal supporters during his time in North London.

    His move to Manchester City turned him into a hated man when two sides met 2009. City was just starting to flex their financial muscle while Arsenal were still in perpetual rebuilding mode under Arsene Wenger.

    The Arsenal traveling support had hounded their former striker throughout the game. Naturally, it was Adebayor who popped up and scored the third goal to seal the victory for his new team.

    The reunion was not complete, however. Adebayor ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans, which infuriated them even further.

    They would later joke how it was the most Adebayor had ran in years. His actions on that day sealed one of the most petulant reunions in history.

Antonios Nikopolidis Keeps His Enemies Close

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    The derby between Olympiakos and Panathainikos is known as the Derby of Eternal Enemies. As you would imagine, both teams hate each other with a passion unseen in most of the world.

    Antonios Nikopolidis made a move few players do and signed for Olympiakos while playing for Panathainkos. Despite leading Panathainikos to the double in 2003-04, boos from the crowd rained down upon when he lifted the trophy.

    The fortunes of both clubs would altered greatly by Nikopolidis' transfer. Olympiakos would go on to dominate the domestic game in Greece for the next few years, while Panathainikos was forced to watch their former goalkeeper captain their hated rivals.

    A Round of 16 Greek Cup matchup saw a Panathainikos have a chance reunite with their former goalkeeper they would probably rather forget. Olympiakos dished out a 4-0 mauling of their hated rivals with Nikopolidis having very little to do.

    It was Panathainikos' worst derby loss in over 40 years, and provided a stark reminder of how the club's fortunes had changed since letting their former keeper walk away in 2004.  

Dennis Law Was the Red Devil Who Relegated the Team He Loved

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    Dennis Law will forever be tied with football in Manchester.

    He would sign for Manchester City in 1960 for what was at the time a record fee in Britain. He would leave a year later, but his time Manchester was far from over.

    Manchester United would come calling for Law after a brief spell in Italy, and he would go on to become one of the most important players in the club's history. He eventually led the team to its first European Cup in 1968.

    He was allowed to join Manchester City for free in 1973 in a move that would lead to a reunion United fans would rather forget.

    With United teetering on the brink of relegation, the Manchester derby took on a whole new importance when the two teams met late in the 1973-74 season. The Old Trafford crowd was stunned when Law scored a clever backheel late in the game,

    Both Law and Manchester United fans believed the goal had doomed the Red Devils to relegation. Law started crying and had to substituted immediately, and fans would storm the pitch, causing the match to be abandoned a few minutes later.  

    Law would later tell the Daily Mail, "I was inconsolable. I did not want to score the goal that sent United down."

    It turned out to be irrelevant as United would have been relegated anyway, but it is still a reunion both sides would rather forget. 

Luis Figo Feels the Wrath of the Nou Camp

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    It is doubtful any reunion will top that of Luis Figo's return to Barcelona. 

    The matched ended 0-0 and would have to be stopped for 13 minutes, as players pleaded for the fans to show some sort of control. The game is best known for a pig's head being tossed at Figo as he tried to take a corner kick.

    It overshadowed the match, and became symbolic of Figo's switch. The galacticos era was just beginning and Madrid would be willing to poach any player at any price.

    It does not get any worse than Figo trying to escape from Barcelona with his life still in tact.