Jose Mourinho and the 10 Most Abrasive Personalities in Football

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2012

Jose Mourinho and the 10 Most Abrasive Personalities in Football

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    We all have them: the player, manager or otherwise football-related person who we just can't stand, who has that unbearable personality who makes your teeth grate and fists clench every time they speak.

    Whether because they are intentionally causing aggravation on the pitch or the sidelines, get peoples' backs up with their post-match comments or just generally seem to have some sort of personality disorder which makes them hard to deal with but impossible to keep out of the papers, some football individuals are simply spiky and unpleasant.

    Here are 10 of the most irritating and abrasive personalities in world football, in no particular order, starting with Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho

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    Love him or hate him, there's no getting away from the fact that Jose Mourinho is one of the very best coaches in world football.

    However his habit of protecting his players by frequently abusing or blaming officials, rival managers, opposition players or the general governing bodies of the game just can't help but get peoples' backs up.

    The Real Madrid manager is, in terms of personality, the complete opposite to former Barcelona adversary Pep Guardiola.

Joey Barton

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    Do we really need to go over this player?

    Barton is currently facing a 12-match suspension for his end-of-season dismissal which saw him elbow Carlos Tevez, chop down Sergio Aguero and attempt a headbutt on a third Manchester City player.

    His former misdemeanours are well documented and include stubbing a cigar in a teammate's eye, attacking former City midfielder Ousmane Dabo on the training field and spending over two months in prison after attacking a man outside a bar.

    Not the nicest of guys and certainly an abrasive personality.

John Terry

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    Not overly sure that much needs repeating about Chelsea captain John Terry.

    Sent off in the Champions League semifinal for kneeing an opponent off the ball, frequently involved in verbal assaults on referees and currently standing trial for alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.

    Oh, and supposedly had an extra-marital affair with a former teammate's partner (via London Evening Standard).

    And that's just last season! There's possibly more to dislike than like about Terry's character.

Arsene Wenger

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    Is it his constant berating of the fourth official?

    Is it his never-failing inability to see a dodgy challenge by one of his own players, yet remonstrate by wildly flapping whenever someone scythes down a Gunner?

    Is it his blame-game, post-match interviews which deride any style of football remotely different from his own when Arsenal lose?

    Or is it his ridiculously shapeless coat?

    Whatever the reason, Arsene Wenger just rubs people up the wrong way.

El-Hadji Diouf

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    Whilst some of the previous slides featured players who were as thuggish as they are irritating at times, El-Hadji Diouf fits the latter description far more.

    He has had his share of controversies—spitting at a Celtic fan whilst playing for Liverpool, for one—but is generally a disliked player by opposition fans because of his demeanour and attitude.

    Spiky and dislikeable, Diouf revels in being the bad boy of the team.

    Though he doesn't actually have one at the moment, having been released by Doncaster Rovers.

Roy Keane

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    Roy Keane may not be involved in the game in a playing capacity any more and is currently between management jobs, but has still got the capacity to cause a stir because of his own abrasive personality.

    Commentating for English TV station ITV, Keane caused consternation in his home country after attacking the mentality of some players and supporters.

    Undoubtedly a fine player, and his own fully-focussed way of doing things was a big part of that, but Keane has views on the game which rubs people up the wrong way by the words and tones he uses to impart them.

Paolo Di Canio

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    Another manager now and Swindon Town's own Paolo di Canio.

    When not busy informing us how he is still a better footballer than most current professionals, di Canio is full of disdain and contempt for the Football League and those in power, earning himself suspensions in the process.

    Obviously not too concerned with appealing to the masses or tempering his egocentric attitude, di Canio—after being banished to the stands for the third time last season—ranted:

    They can send me off every week if they want, I don't care we will still win the league.

Michel Platini

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    Ah, speaking of egocentric berks...

    Michel Platini, head of UEFA, is full of ideas and proposals, statements and betterments.

    Who, exactly, these schemes purport to better is up for debate.

    Quite aside from any other failing, Platini has a dislikeable character merely because he is in charge of an organisation who—despite backing the "say no to racism" slogan—fined Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner 100.000 € for exposing his underpants with an "unauthorised sponsorship advert" on them.

    The fine itself was not what people had a problem with; it was that the fine was ludicrously higher than nations were being fined for racist behaviour from fans, violent fan misbehaviour and sectarianism.

    Priorities, indeed.

Carlos Tevez

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    Carlos Tevez.

    Having spent half a dozen years in England without bothering to learn the language in the slightest, the stocky forward took it upon himself last season to head off on a mid-season, four-month jolly to his native Argentina.

    The cause of this holiday?

    He apparently "misunderstood" an instruction from his manager to come on as a substitute in a Champions League game, and evidently refused to warm up.

    That he made a comeback for City and aided their trophy-winning end to the season does not cloud the fact that Tevez has a deplorable personality from a footballing point of view.

Alex Ferguson

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    With all the arrogance and abrasive nature of Jose Mourinho and the argumentative nature and one-sidedness of Arsene Wenger, and far more media manipulation than either of those two, Alex Ferguson is perhaps the most disliked managerial personality in English football.

    Not that he'll care one bit; he's also won far more trophies over the length of his career than Mourinho and Wenger have won combined.

    He still rules the roost at Manchester United, having seen off the Portuguese manager's brief stint in the country and will likely still be in his Old Trafford dugout seat after Wenger has vacated his one at the Emirates.

    Ferguson is one of the best all-time managers—and has one of the most abrasive personalities.