The 50 Most Troubled Players in World Soccer History (Final Part)
We learned the stories of tragic footballers who could not cope with the fame and pressure of football and those who took too much advantage of the lavish lifestyle afforded to them by sky-high wages.
In today's second and final part of the slideshow, we come across cross-dressing orgies, karate kicks on the general public and in front of royalty, a drug-related kidnapping and Mario Balotelli.
Enjoy the crazy world of football!
Diego Maradona: The Entertainer
The lady in the middle of this photo is obviously not a football fan, for she seems to be taking a picture of something other than possibly the most famous player and iconic world football figure of all time, Diego Maradona, who is seated directly in front of her and flanked by two gorgeous girls young enough to be his daughters.
Yes, life has been kind to the former Argentina playmaker, who found fame and fortune in addition to scoring the greatest World Cup goal ever seen.
Sadly, Maradona often mingled with and listened to the wrong people and nearly self-destructed on several occasions during and after his football career: cocaine abuse, controversial political views, kicking a player in the face in front of the King of Spain, tax evasion.
You name it, Diego's done it. That's why some refer to him as ''El Diego''. The one and only.
Marlon King: Nasty Piece of Work
Theft, car crime, criminal damage, attempting to obtain property by deception, fraudulent use of a vehicle licence document, driving without insurance, speeding, drink driving, assault and, to top it all, a place on the sex offenders' list.
Welcome to the world of Birmingham City forward Marlon King, who unsurprisingly has played in 10 clubs over 13 years.
Marlon King is a person you don't want to come across and a player your club certainly shouldn't want to buy!
The Troublesome Irish Managers
In his day, Celtic manager Neil Lennon was a good midfielder, with more than 500 club appearances and 40 international caps.
Since his retirement in 2008, he has been assaulted in Glasgow, assaulted in the dugout, had bullets and a parcel bomb addressed to him in the post and has constantly received death threats due to his religion. He also suffered from depression for a long period of time.
In contrast, former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane has very little to complain about in life. But Keane was always in the centre of a controversy during his days as a player and, afterwards, in management.
Whether it was his strongly worded views, rash challenges—including a horrific lunge on Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge Haaland—or fall-outs with teammates, managers or chairmen, he always knew how to cause a stir.
He Who Uses His Head Often Sees Red: The Cases of Duncan Ferguson and Zidane
July 9, 2006 was a special night for Zinedine Zidane (above in white). It should have been the night he led France to a World Cup final victory in Germany.
Instead, after scoring an early penalty in the final, he waved goodbye to a glittering career in football with an agressive headbutt which floored Italian defender Marco Materazzi. What ensued was the memorable image of a shamed star trudging from the field and past the Jules Rimet trophy which he had just squandered. France lost on penalties.
What possessed ''Zizou'' to act this way? An apparent insult directed by Materazzi at the Algerian-born midfielder's sister.
While Duncan Ferguson never came close to the technical heights, fame, fortune or glory of Zidane, the former Everton brute also knew very well how to throw his weight around. For example, he received a three-month prison term in 1994 for headbutting St. Mirren player John McStay, was fined for headbutting a police officer and was fined for punching and kicking a supporter who was on crutches.
The Sex Tape Scandal: Mark Bosnich and Dwight Yorke's Big Mistake
If you are a world-famous footballer, it is at best naive to make a sex tape at all, plain stupid to include a teammate in the proceedings and beyond belief to delete the evidence by throwing the tape in a rubbish bag.
But this is exactly what Manchester United player Dwight Yorke did in 1998 when he invited his mate Mark Bosnich (above) to his luxury house in Sutton Coldfield for a cross-dressing, drunken romp with two women. Needless to say, Sir Alex Ferguson was not best pleased with a player who would afterwards start a relationship with glamour model Katie Price.
Bosnich didn't fare much better away from the field and the bedroom, suffering from an addiction to cocaine and declaring himself bankrupt in 2008.
Gazza: Raul Moat's Mate, Looney Toon
He's driven a car in Loch Lomond, drunk four bottles of Cristal in one night, caught pneumonia and attempted to give a serial killer "a can of lager, some chicken, fishing rod, a Newcastle shirt and a dressing gown."
Guilty as charged...of being an absolute lunatic!
If the Seagulls Follow the Trailer...Eric Cantona Was Different!
''When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown in to the sea''.
No, me neither.
An enigmatic man with a bizarre and incomprehensible metaphor for life.
While we forgave Frenchman Eric Cantona for his strange wisdom, arrogantly upturned collar and Gallic sense of self-worth, only Manchester United fans could excuse the player flying into a supporter live on television with a karate kick.
This from one of the men charged with reviving iconic American soccer team New York Cosmos!
Pablo Escobar, Carlos Molina and the Scorpion King
Rene Higuita: he of crazy hair, the acrobatic scorpion kick and a keen sense of derring-do on a football pitch in general.
But nobody could be prepared for what was to happen in 1993, when the Colombian goalkeeper was arrested for his part in the rescuing of a kidnapped hostage, the daughter of notorious drug barren Carlos Molina. For this brave act, he received $64,000.
Later, he claimed to police he was unaware that he was not permitted by law to profit from a kidnapping. He was jailed for seven months for his behaviour.
Carlos Tevez: The Manchester Saga Continues
Wherever Argentinian forward Carlos Tevez moves to next, it is likely the 27-year-old forward will never be allowed back in the city of Manchester.
Firstly, he estranged United fans by moving across the city to join Manchester City, then he lost his standing with supporters of the Sky Blues by angling for a move away from the club, stating the city had ''nothing'' to offer him, moaning about being away from his family and houses costing $10 million.
Message to Carlos: Knight Knox is today offering one-bedroom flats in the city centre with a river view for less than a week's wage. I'm sure a month's salary would buy a couple more bedrooms and a delightful garden. Maybe even a swimming pool. Get a grip, lad!
And Finally...Welcome to the Mario Balotelli Show!
Given away by his biological parents at the age of three and suffering from a life-threatening intestine condition during his infancy, there is no doubt Italy and Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli—now a millionaire superstar—has come a long way in life.
But this journey has not been without difficulties, and Balotelli is not the best-liked footballer as a result of some childish behaviour on and off the field.
Memorable incidents include coach Jose Mourinho and his own agent accusing Balotelli of lacking application and effort, shameful playacting to get a rival player sent off, being photographed wearing the replica shirt of his team's fierce rivals and being substituted in a friendly match last month for sarcastically attempting a ridiculous backheel when one-on-one with the opposition goalkeeper.
Mario Balotelli is certainly best described as ''troubled''.
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