The 10 Most Selfish Players in Premier League History

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2013

The 10 Most Selfish Players in Premier League History

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    There is no "I" in team, but there are three in individual. 

    The 10 players featured in this slideshow have displayed some of the qualities that earn someone the reputation of being selfish. 

    Some of those qualities are obvious, like a propensity to not involve teammates in attack, while others are less clear. 

    These include nonsensical fouling that leads to disciplinary measures, and some disappointing off-pitch antics. 

    All 10 of these players have committed one or more of these offenses to earn their spot on the list of the most selfish players in English Premier League history. 

Luis Suarez

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    No player in the last 24 months has single-handedly hurt their club more than the lunatic antics of Luis Suarez have.

    From his racist remarks to Manchester United's Patrice Evra to his biting of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, the Uruguyan has not shied away from controversy since his arrival from Ajax in January 2011. 

    Because of those two controversial incidents, Suarez has been suspended for a total of 18 matches. 

    Anyone who accrues two major suspensions like that in such a short time span clearly does not have the team's best interest in mind. 


Lucas Neill

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    If Lucas Neill circa 2007 was a rap song, he would be "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems."

    In 2007, Neill famously turned down a move to Liverpool from Blackburn Rovers and decided to join West Ham United instead. 

    Neill originally claimed that his move was about the money, which was confirmed by Liverpool right after the Aussie swapped Ewood Park for Upton Park. 

    The Austrailian defender made £70,000 a week while at West Ham, but failed to deliver many results in the back four for the Hammers. 

    Since leaving West Ham, Neill has turned into a club vagabond by playing for five clubs in the last four seasons on three different continents. 

Ashley Cole

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    Speaking of players whose past transfers were influenced by the amount of money on offer, we have the one affectionately known in some parts of London as "Cashley Cole."

    During the summer of 2006, Cole swapped Arsenal red for Chelsea blue, and he received quite the hefty pay raise in the process. 

    One has to wonder whether if Cole had stayed at Arsenal, would the Gunners have experienced their much-maligned trophy drought? 

John Terry

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    It must be a requirement of English defenders at Chelsea to be selfish. 

    John Terry represents the epitome of the selfish, new-age footballer. 

    While no one will question Terry's footballing abilities, plenty are quick to question the moral conscious of the 32-year-old, who has been no stranger to controversy during his playing career. 

    Terry turned the spotlight on himself in 2010 for an extramarital affair with the girlfriend of then-teammate Wayne Bridge. 

    Just a year later, Terry found himself in the middle of a racism row after he was caught using a slur in the direction of Anton Ferdinand. 

    After that incident, Terry was rightfully stripped of the England captaincy and was handed a four-match ban by the FA. 

Stephen Ireland

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    Back when Stephen Ireland was relevant to football fans, he found himself mired in controversy over his decision not to play for the Republic of Ireland back in 2007. 

    Ireland decided to make up a few lies about tragedies in his family, and after he was caught by the press, his reputation with his national team and football fans everywhere was ruined. 

    The midfielder has received some karmic retribution for his little stunt and has barely played for Aston Villa since his move from Manchester City in 2010. 

Dimitar Berbatov

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    "Keep calm and pass me the ball."

    That is exactly what the undershirt of Dimitar Berbatov said on December 26, 2012 after he scored for Fulham against Southampton. 

    While most people will consider that a very selfish act, Berbatov has been able to back up his suggested tactical strategy with goals for most of his career. 

    At each of the Bulgarian's five clubs, he has scored more than 10 goals in at least one season.

Paul Ince

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    If you ask a West Ham United supporter how they feel about Paul Ince today, they may have the same reaction that they had over 20 years ago when the midfielder left the Hammers for Manchester United. 

    Before his transfer was completed, a photo of Ince posing with a United kit was published by a British paper and all hell broke loose. 

    Although the move occurred before the creation of the Premier League, Ince did play against his old club in the newly-formed division for a few seasons, and he was welcomed back with chants of "Judas." 

    After his career at Old Trafford had ended, Ince began a journey across every level of English footballing as both player and manager.

    He is currently managing Championship side Blackpool, where his son Tom plays. 

Arjen Robben

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    No one player in today's game receives more abuse about his selfish play than Arjen Robben. 

    The Dutchman, who played at Chelsea from 2004 to 2007, is under the belief that football is a 1 vs. 11 game. 

    He also believes that his left foot is a gift sent from the heavens that he must share with everyone at every given opportunity. 

    Robben is also famous for an egregious flop in a 2006 skirmish with Liverpool's Pepe Reina, back when both players actually had hair.

    That skirmish led to some memorable comments from then-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez. 

Mario Balotelli

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    Why always you, Mario? 

    Well, we have plenty of examples from your time at Manchester City to prove why you were such a selfish player and distraction to the title-winning cause you were supposed to support. 

    The only way an outside observer could understand the off-field antics of Mario Balotelli is to compare him to former NBA star Dennis Rodman when he played for the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. 

    No, Balotelli did not show up to a book signing in a wedding dress, but he did throw darts at a City youth player, carry more than £5,000 in cash around with him, and drive into a women's prison in Italy to "have a look around." 

    If that was not enough, Balotelli also did this while he was on the pitch in 2011 against the Los Angeles Galaxy in a friendly. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Could you imagine if the egos of Mario Balotelli and Cristiano Ronaldo collided in the Manchester derby? 

    Yeah, I am still trying to wrap my head around that possibility too. 

    While Balotelli was a sideshow off of the pitch, Ronaldo was a sideshow in his own right on the pitch. 

    Before he moved to Real Madrid in 2009, the Portuguese winger perfected the art of playing on the wing, free kicks and, his personal specialty, diving. 

    For his flopping antics alone, Ronaldo deserves a spot in this list. 

    To the shock of many fans, Ronaldo has not won an Academy Award yet for his performances on the pitch. 


    Who do you think is the most selfish player in EPL history? 

    Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.