10 Biggest Narcissists in World Football

Max TowleAnalyst IApril 11, 2013

10 Biggest Narcissists in World Football

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    Narcissism is not a trait to be proud of.

    A narcissistic person is one who is vain, self-absorbed and selfish—characteristics that embody several of the top names in world football.

    The majority of the 10 most narcissistic players are certainly talented, but could stand to lose a little of their unhealthy self-love.

    Without any further ado, let's name and shame.

Nicklas Bendtner

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    Nicklas Bendtner would be an automatic inclusion in a team made up of the most inflated egos in the game.

    The Danish striker once said of himself "If you ask me if I am one of the best strikers in the world, I say yes" (via Daily Mail).

    His statistics hardly back up his claim—the 25-year-old has never scored more than nine goals during a top-flight season.

    He currently toils on the bench for Juventus—an unsuccessful loan move prompted by his underwhelming displays for Arsenal.

Mario Balotelli

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    Mario Balotelli has crossed the line between genius and madness several times in his career.

    The Italian striker is renowned for his crazy antics, and his stupendous ego.

    Earlier this year, the AC Milan star ordered a life-size bronze statue of himself to be constructed, depicting his tensed-muscle celebration during Italy's semi-final win over Germany in last year's European Championships (via The Guardian).

    I would guess the statue would reside slap-bang in the middle of his living room.

Wilfried Zaha

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    One of the most hilarious quotes of the season came courtesy of a flashy winger currently plying his trade in Britain's Championship.

    In November, future Manchester United player Wilfried Zaha said "unless I’m looking at Ronaldo or Messi, I’d never look at someone else and think he’s better than me" (via Daily Mail).

    While you have to applaud the youngster's confidence, the claim is borderline-ridiculous.

    But if he can set the Premier League alight at Old Trafford next season, he'll make me eat my words.

Jose Mourinho

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    Forget that he's a coach, not a player, no list of the most narcissistic people in football would be complete without Jose Mourinho.

    This is the man who declared "please don't call me arrogant, but I'm a European champion and I think I'm a special one" upon arriving at Chelsea in 2004.

    Who can forget his spotlight-stealing touchline slide to celebrate Real Madrid's late win over Manchester City this season?

    But for all of his self-love, Mourinho's abilities as a manager come close to matching his sense of self-worth.

Adel Taarabt

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    Sure, Adel Taarabt is a decent footballer, but nowhere near as good as he likes to think he is.

    The Moroccan attacking midfielder has spoken of his being good enough to play for the likes of AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona in the near future (via Daily Mail).

    This season he hasn't been good enough to keep Queens Park Rangers viable in the Premier League—the London club are a surefire bet for relegation at the time of writing.

    Seven EPL goals in 52 appearances—is he even good enough for the Hoops?

Arjen Robben

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    When it comes to selfishness, there is no better example than Arjen Robben.

    The Bayern Munich winger seems allergic to passing at times, preferring to take on a multitude of defenders by himself.

    In an interview with Kicker last year, he claimed "attackers have to be selfish on the pitch... Selfishness is a quality and not necessarily a bad thing" (h/t ESPN).

    In the past he has been good enough to do it all himself, but should he have to?

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Say what you want about his development as a human being after the birth of his first child, no list of egotistical footballers would be complete without Cristiano Ronaldo.

    The Portuguese forward may be one of the two best players on the planet, but that doesn't mean his opinion of himself should be as colossal.

    He is someone with a reputation for spending a little too long admiring himself in a mirror. But in a recent interview, he disputed the claims.

    "I'm not standing in front of the mirror for 30 minutes. I promise you the maximum is one minute, I swear. When you have good hair like me, it's easy to style it" (via Now).

Joey Barton

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    Joey Barton is a pretty average player, and a rather unlikable human being too.

    His rap sheet includes sparking a mass brawl, stubbing a lit cigar out in a teammate's eye, breaking the leg of a pedestrian while driving, dropping his shorts at fans during a game, being charged with common assault and affray and punching an opponent in the ribs (via The Guardian).

    In an interview with So Foot in 2011, he claimed to be the best English midfielder in the game, better than the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard (h/t ESPN).

    He plays in France at the moment. Can he stay there?

Samuel Eto’o

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    In 2010, Samuel Kuper of the Financial Times wrote "Samuel Eto’o is the prototypical difficult superstar, a perpetually discontented narcissist who always wants the pass and challenges authority."

    The Cameroonian striker was one of the best players in his position during his peak.

    He has had productive stints at Barcelona and Inter Milan, scoring goals for fun and claiming both La Liga (3) and Serie A winners medals.

    But managers have struggled to contain his huge ego, even if its size matched his strike rate.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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    Make no mistake, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the most outrageously talented players of his generation.

    The only trouble is, he knows it.

    He once boasted "I am the North, I am the South, I am the East, and I am the West. I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic," while upon moving to Paris Saint-Germain, he said "I don't really know Ligue 1, but Ligue 1 knows me" (via Citizenside).

    Still, any man who is capable of this could never think too highly of himself.


    Who else in world football is worthy of making a list of the biggest narcissists?