Dani Osvaldo and the Greatest Premier League Fighting Footballers

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2014

Dani Osvaldo and the Greatest Premier League Fighting Footballers

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    It's been quite a week for fighting footballers. 

    At Swansea's training ground on Tuesday, a rift between Garry Monk and Chico Flores resulted in the police being called, with a witness allegedly seeing the Spaniard brandishing a brick. 

    Now, Dani Osvaldo's Southampton career looks to be in jeopardy after earning a two-week suspension for fighting teammate Jose Fonte (as per The BBC). 

    This hostile behaviour inspires our list of Premier League fighters... 

Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer

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    During a match with Aston Villa in April 2005, Lee Bowyer and Newcastle teammate Kieron Dyer put aside the trivial issue of playing football to engage in a fistfight. 

    Both players were red carded and given three-match bans, but Bowyer was given an additional three-match ban and a fine of six weeks' wages from the club because he was deemed to have started the bizarre incident. 

John Hartson

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    Hair colour wasn't the only thing fiery about Johnny Hartson.

    In September 1998, he irritated West Ham teammate Eyal Berkovic with a mistimed training ground tackle. The Israeli responded by punching the Welshman's leg and he received a kick to the face for his troubles. 

Joey Barton

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    In his 13-year career, Joey Barton has probably done more fighting than football. 

    In addition to punching Morten Gamst Pedersen in the stomach during a game and starting a brawl on the final day of the 2011-12 season that put QPR's Premier League status at risk, the raging midfielder has been involved in plenty of off-the-field fracas.

    In 2007, he received an FA violent conduct charge, a ban and an arrest for beating teammate Ousmane Dabo so hard during training that he was left unconscious. Earlier that season, he had stubbed out a cigar in a teammate's eye. 

    His troubled year in 2007 was capped off with a spell in prison for assaulting a teenager on the streets of Liverpool after a night out. 

    These days, Barton tends to vent his uncontrollable anger through his Twitter feed, but he still occasionally lets the red mist rise on the field. 

Steven Gerrard

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    Steven Gerrard may not have engaged in much fisticuffs on the field, but he has been known to come to blows while out on the town.

    In 2009, a court heard that the Liverpool star punched a fellow nightclub patron "with speed of a professional boxer" when he refused to relinquish control over the venue's music system. 

    Stevie G faces another visit to court this summer to settle a damages claim for an alleged "street fight" in August 2013. 

Andy Carroll

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    Here's a good tip: if you ever exchange sexy text messages with an ex-girlfriend of Andy Carroll, don't let him find out about it.

    In March 2010, the striker discovered an SMS tryst between a former flame and Newcastle teammate Steven Taylor. The long-haired Geordie settled it by breaking Taylor's jaw with a punch so hard that his hand required surgery. 

Mario Balotelli

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    Mario Balotelli wore the patience of Roberto Mancini extremely thin while at Manchester City, but the end of his Premier League career was sparked when the Italian tried to fight his manager in training.

    Mancini told Super Mario to hit the showers when he lunged into Scott Sinclair, and when the striker refused to budge, a tussle erupted. Balotelli was sold to Milan a few weeks later. 

Graeme Le Saux and David Batty

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    Remember when Blackburn Rovers were in the Championship after they bought the Premier League title? The unsuccessful European campaign is memorable only for an incident that occurred during the Lancashire club's 3-0 loss to Spartak Moscow in November 1995.

    Tough guy David Batty was unhappy with cultured soul Graeme Le Saux during the match and decided to throw a punch at him, which Le Saux returned in kind. Those players were handed fines and bans by UEFA.    


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