Through the years there have been many players that have been hated by many. Only rarely, though, are players universally hated. In fact, so rarely that not even all the players on this list are universally hated.
However this list is based on the strength of football fans' hate for the player as opposed to the amount of people that hate them.
Some players stupidly chose to make a straight transfer to a major rival, others simply gained hatred for their immoral style of play. Yet others are hated for their antics off the pitch despite some of their talents on the pitch.
With the development of the game it's suddenly far easier for people to hate players, a fact which is reflected in this list.
So without further ado, here are the 20 most hated players in world football.
Club: AC Milan
Hated For: Having played for both AC Milan and Inter Milan, as well as Juventus beforehand, Ibrahimovic is a largely controversial character in Italy.
It doesn't help that he's also been in the news before for kicking players during training, especially since he's a Tae Kwon Do black belt.
Club: Cardiff City
Hated For: Perhaps he's more hated by Celtic fans than Rangers fans, but Kenny Miller is evidence that a player should never switch between the two Old Firm rivals.
Miller didn't really perform at Celtic, perhaps giving Rangers fans some sort of joy out of the move, especially given that the player went back to Rangers after a stint at Derby County.
Hated For: Cantona is loved by many but also hated by many. He was a very controversial character, making him very widely hated but also widely loved by others for his talents on the pitch.
His karate kick on that Crystal Palace fan helped him solidify his position as one of the most hated players, with perhaps one of the best remembered legacies of the lot.
Club: Manchester City
Hated For: Craig Bellamy is just generally a pain to experience in any form according to most football fans.
His temper doesn't help his reputation and his aggressiveness has also been worrying at best. Despite once being rated as a top quality striker, Bellamy's fall from grace has also led to people judging him even further.
Club: Manchester City
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Hated For: De Jong has always been strong, to say the least, going into tackles throughout his career.
It wasn't until his "karate kick" challenge on Xabi Alonso that his aggressiveness truly came to the public's attention; and then again soon after in the Premier League when he broke Hatem Ben Arfa's leg.
Ben Afra refused de Jong's hospital visit after the horrid tackle.
Hated For: Dennis Wise was very much a combative midfielder during his career and a key part of Wimbledon's famous "Crazy Gang."
His aggression on the pitch led to many fans hating his style of play with Sir Alex Ferguson even making remarks about how easy it was for Wise to start fights.
Club: Free Agent
Position: Centre Back
Hated For: Having spent nine faithful years at Tottenham, becoming a fan favourite and arguably the team's key player, Campbell decided he could further his career by moving across the road to Arsenal.
Suddenly known as "Judas" to many fans, Campbell further ruined his reputation with short "money grabbing" stints at Notts County and Newcastle.
Hated For: Duncan Ferguson earned many nicknames during his career due to his strong personality on the pitch.
"Big Dunc" and "Duncan Disorderly" were just two of the names that popped up, and his actions eventually earned him a three-month prison sentence in 1994.
Hated For: Despite his good showings for Ajax, Luis Suarez wasn't at the forefront of public attention as much before the 2010 World Cup.
It was during the 2010 World Cup he became single-handedly (literally) responsible for Ghana's World Cup exit by committing the "Hand of God 2."
Months later, back in the Eredivisie, he was once again in the news for biting an opponent.
Position: Right Back
Hated For: Although Gary Neville never really had the same aggression of many of the others on this list, and his brother Phil actually went on to play for Everton as well, it's Gary who Liverpool fans seem to hate the most.
England's former "Mr. Consistent" in his hey-day, Neville was also a Red Devil through and through, leaving him the target of much abuse from rival fans.
Age: Died aged 54, 1997
Hated For: Despite being voted Leeds United's greatest player of all time, and arguably one of Scotland's finest too, Bremner is still remembered largely for his tough tackling style on the pitch.
Although the book and film, "The Damned United" has been proven to be slightly inaccurate, Bremner was still quite a rough player and the subject of much hatred from rival fans.
Hated For: Another Red Devil and another tough tackling midfielder. Roy Keane was controversial both on and off the pitch.
His actions on the pitch, although title winning, were also frowned upon by many fans and his words off the pitch were equally detestable to most.
Club: Newcastle United
Hated For: Yet another tough midfielder, but this time it's Barton's exploits off of the pitch that have gotten him hated by many fans.
He has previously been sentenced to six months in prison, 77 days of which were served before being released. Soon after he was once again charged with violent conduct by the FA.
Hated For: Vinnie Jones has earned himself a living, well even more of a living, from his "hardman" image that he created during his time in football.
After being the main member of Wimbledon's "Crazy Gang," Vinnie Jones turned his hand to acting and has taken his aggression into the industry with him.
Hated For: Diego Simeone attracted much hate from England fans during the 1998 World Cup after his actions on the pitch during the matchup.
After focusing his attention on Beckham for much of the match, he eventually made a tackle to take the player down. After a young Beckham loosely kicked back from the ground, Simeone later admitted to feigning the injury that got Beckham sent off, arguably ending England's World Cup dream yet again.
Position: Attacking Midfielder/Second Striker
Hated For: Maradona's career is a fabled one not only because of his magnificent talent that led him to be labelled by many as the best player of all time, but also because of the controversy he caused.
Maradona has struggled with drugs right throughout his life, which slightly marred his career, and he is also largely resented by England fans for producing the "Hand of God" to knock the country out of the 1986 World Cup, despite his sterling second goal.
Hated For: Effenburg was hated by many fans the world over for his exploits on and off the pitch. The German midfielder not only immaturely called opposition players names in pre-match press conferences, but he was also revealed to have had an affair outside of marriage.
Soon after, Effenberg lashed out at the working German public and other footballers in his book, before being found guilty of assault in 2001.
Position: Left Back
Hated For: Ashley Cole, more commonly known as "Cashley," is largely hated by many fans throughout the world for his apparently selfish nature.
After repeatedly cheating on his wife Cheryl, Ashley earned much hatred from the "celebrity gossip" world After revealing in his autobiography his greed for more wages, many football fans joined in that hatred.
Club: Real Madrid
Hated For: You name it and Cristiano Ronaldo is probably hated by someone for it. Despite his phenomenal ability, Ronaldo has become a figure of all that is wrong with football to many supporters.
His diving and off-pitch antics with countless different women are the main ingredient to his image; but there are undoubtedly many different reasons fans don't like him.
Club: Blackburn Rovers
Hated For: Perhaps some people would have put Ronaldo at No. 1, but it's all just a matter of opinion, especially considering El Hadji Diouf has done more than his fair share to be hated.
After being in trouble for car crashes, repeatedly spitting at fans and players, racial slurs, taunting injured players and going missing during preseason training camps, it is understandable that Diouf is a competitor for the top slot on this list.