The 10 Craziest Temper Tantrums in Soccer History
We all know that many football players are prima donnas, and, often, they cannot take a little bit of strife on the pitch.
In other words, not enough footballers are tough enough to keep their composure when things don't go their way. For every Carles Puyol or Grant Holt, there are many more players like Nani or Pepe (sorry Portugal) who cannot cope with any contact or bad refereeing decisions.
The solution for these players and other players like them is usually to whine to either their opponent, the referee or simply the stadium around them. It may be sad, but if often makes for some pretty good viewing.
Let's look back at 10 of the more notable meltdowns in recent football history.
Joey Barton vs. Manchester City
As if the final day of the last Premier League season could not have been more exciting, Joey Barton had to get himself theatrically sent off for picking a fight with half the Manchester City team.
Those who thought the thug had changed his ways were given a rude surprise when Barton could not control yet another rush of blood to the head.
And as the true sport that he is, Barton could not even leave the field without attempting assault.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Nani
You would think that Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of the Portugal national team, would be overjoyed when he helps his side score a goal in any way, shape or form.
Instead, Ronaldo puts on one of the most pathetic, juvenile displays of selfishness I have ever seen in sports, beating up the air and throwing a hissy fit because Nani took credit for his goal.
Pathetic on many levels.
Kieron Dyer vs. Lee Bowyer
Have you ever seen two members of the same team fight each other during a match?
The only time I've ever seen intrasquad quarreling break out was when Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer went at it while playing for Newcastle against West Ham. Unbelievably, the opposition has to separate the two, and the match commentator is rightfully stunned.
Wayne Rooney vs. Ricardo Carvalho's Male Area
Lashing out is one thing, but going below the belt is another matter entirely.
Wayne Rooney could not contain his frustration with then-Chelsea man Ronaldo Carvalho during a long scuffle, and decided that the best course of action, when all else failed, was to kick Carvalho in the crotch.
Not cool, Wazza, not cool.
Carlos Tevez vs. Manchester City
We can all remember the fiasco Carlos Tevez caused when he refused to warm up during a Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich, despite repeated requests by Roberto Mancini.
What ensued was months of hyperbole from both camps, assurances that Tevez would never play for Manchester City again and a whole lot of golf and family time for the striker in Argentina.
This is the post-match interview that Tevez gave after the incident. Clearly, he is remorseless for his actions and we can already see the seeds of rebellion forming in one of the highest-paid players in the world.
Many fines later, everything is peachy again, and Tevez continues to fight for a place alongside City's many other expensive forwards.
Mario Balotelli in General
Among the seemingly millions of incidents I could have chosen to link to, I have given you the infamous failed backheel that led to a major row with Roberto Mancini.
Balotelli has been involved in scuffles with his manager for a seemingly endless list of reasons. Part of what makes him such an entertaining player to watch is that you never know when he'll melt down and have another tantrum.
Super Mario's done it in games many times before; his red card against Arsenal last season is a prime example. In any game that Balotelli plays, there is a risk of another L.A. Galaxy moment.
Joey Barton vs. Gervinho
Joey Barton, if you haven't realized by now, is a thug who can go mental in the most mundane of situations.
In the first Premier League match of last season, Barton reacted to what he perceived to be a dive by Gervinho in the penalty area by hauling the Ivorian up from the ground and assaulting him.
Just for good measure, Barton fakes being hit himself and theatrically falls to the turf, proving once again that he is a coward who relies on sheer intimidation to get his way.
Who could have expected a yellow card would drive Antonio Cassano completely mad?
Evidently, Cassano was so disappointed at his entry into the referee's book that he literally flings himself about like a four-year-old trying to exact revenge on his mother.
In fact, he is moved to tears by his booking. Shocking, really, for such a respected and quality player.
Eric Cantona vs. a Poor Fan
I don't know if Eric Cantona is distinguished in the martial arts, but his wonderfully executed kung fu kick cemented his reputation as one of the least controllable players in the world.
As anyone who has been to any sporting event knows, fans will pretty much continuously harass every player on the pitch. For some reason, Cantona took one particular supporter's jibes personally, and decided to assault him with the studs of his boot.
To say that the Frenchman was overcome by a rush of blood to the head is an understatement. To have such a complete lack of judgment and ability to resist impulsivity indicates that there might be a few screws loose up in Cantona's head.
Don't tell him that, though, if you value your skin.
Zinedine Zidane vs. Marco Materazzi
It's not like this needs any introduction. Everyone knows about one of the oddest and most shocking events in football history.
The fact that the 2006 World Cup Final was Zinedine Zidane's last professional football match made things even worse and harder to explain. There is some ambiguity about what Marco Materazzi said to the French maestro (rumors indicate that Zidane's mother and sister were involved), but it was enough to set him off.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Zidane left the pitch in disgrace, Italy exited as World Cup winners and we are left to remember the single biggest moment of indiscretion in football history.