Ibrahimovic and Materazzi Clash in Milan Derby
The world is full of great talent and great controversy. Sometimes they overlap and sometimes they don't.
The world has always had troubled and controversial players: Diego Maradona, George Best, Eric Cantona, and many more have had great success, which came with great controversy.
Here are 11 of those players. Some have great talent, but all cannot seem to stay out of the tabloids, for the wrong reasons.
Lehmann receiving a red card
Age: 42 (Retired)
Controversy: During his playing career, the eccentric German made a reputation for himself as one of the dirtiest goalies in the beautiful game.
He was known for stomping opponents and his cocky attitude. He once relieved himself behind an advertising board, poured water on a referee and involved himself in a war of words with colleagues, once stating that Manuel Almunia was "not in his class."
Ashley Cole, Chelsea
Controversy: Ashley Cole once almost crashed his car when he heard that Arsenal would offer him ONLY £55,000 per week. Tragic. In hearing that news, he illegally made contact with Chelsea in order to facilitate a transfer. He was fined £100,000 for his interaction with Chelsea.
He is more infamously known for cheating on his then-wife Cheryl Cole (Tweedy) with multiple women, eventually causing them to split up. Foolish.
Marco Materazzi, After being headbutted by Zidane
Controversy: Marco Materazzi has an aggressive playing style which has seen him rack up more than 60 yellow cards and 25 red cards throughout his career.
He is remembered as the player who ruined Zinedine Zidane's final match of his outstanding career. He made sexual remarks in regard to Zidane's sister and allegedly called the Frenchman "the son of a terrorist whore."
John Terry, Sent off while on duty with England.
Clubs: Chelsea, Nottingham Forest (loan)
Controversy: John Terry is known for showing no mercy in his defending. He has blocked shots and crosses with his hands and brought down opponents when caught out of position.
In his private life, he was given a super-injunction by a High Court Judge to prevent the media from covering his cheating on his wife with Vanessa Perroncel, the former girlfriend of his club and country teammate Wayne Bridge.
Shortly following the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., Terry joyously drank with friends in a Heathrow Airport Hotel Bar, stripped off their clothes, vomited and yelled at crying American tourists as they watched the footage of the Twin Tower attacks.
He assaulted a nightclub bouncer and claimed self-defense. He was also put under police investigation for racist abuse against Anton Ferdinand.
It is safe to say that Terry is not a good person.
Dani Alves, Barcelona
Clubs: Bahia, Sevilla, Barcelona
Controversy: Highly regarded as the best right back in the world, Dani Alves is a very hated player outside his Camp Nou home.
In 2008, Barcelona made him the most expensive defender in the world after purchasing him for Sevilla for €32.5 million. For all of his talent, he has gained a reputation for feigning injuries and diving in an attempt to get opponents shown a card by the referee. He berates officials and is seen chirping in their ears constantly throughout the game.
Although one of the best defenders in the world, those who are not Barcelona fans despise the attack-minded Brazilian.
De Jong Karate Kick on Xabi Alonso, World Cup Final
Controversy: Nigel De Jong's tackling is much talked about in the world of poor quality refereeing.
"The Terrier," playing with the Netherlands in a friendly against the U.S. shortly before the World Cup, conducted a terrible attack on Stuart Holden. The American was left with a fractured leg before what could have been his breakthrough tournament.
In the World Cup, De Jong became a villain to the world with what should have been a red-card offense in a kick to the chest of Xabi Alonso.
The Dutchman's wild tackling also caused a double fracture of Ben Arfa's left tibia and fibula.
To date, he only has one red card. This was a result of two yellow card offenses in a Euro Cup match in 2006.
How this man manages to stay on the field while causing career-threatening injuries is a mystery.
Controversy: Joey Barton served 77 days in prison for beating a man while out on the town with friends. He attacked Ousmane Dabo, a teammate of his on Manchester City, and almost gouged out his eye in a scuffle during training.
Barton broke a 35-year-old pedestrian's leg while driving at 2 a.m through Liverpool.
He jammed a cigar into the eye of an amateur footballer, Jamie Tandy, which left him with permanent scars.
He is a self-admitted alcoholic, and once tried to seduce a model through boasting about his violent conduct.
If there is one man in modern football you should not make an enemy with, it surely is Joey Barton. If you push him far enough he might end up in jail with his brother, serving a life sentence for a racially-motivated murder.
Carlos Tevez, Manchester City
Controversy: In 2006, Carlos Tevez dragged West Ham United out of the relegation zone, causing Sheffield United to be sent to the championship instead. However, Tevez should never have been allowed to play for the Hammers, being illegally owned by a third-party investment company.
After becoming a controversial West Ham hero in a single season, he went through with a dream move to Manchester United. His career at United lasted two years before he forced his way to local rivals Manchester City.
Despite enjoying success at City, this summer the Argentine stated that he never wanted to play for them again. Unfortunately no offers came in, likely due to his high price and a history of causing dressing room unrest.
This season, he refused to come on against Bayern Munich in the Champions League because he "was not in the right mindset to come on." City suspended him and now he is heavily linked with a move to AC Milan.
He is happy to sit on his huge salary without putting his full effort into his job, becoming known as a greedy and selfish player.
Mario Balotelli vs Dynamo
Clubs: Lumezzane, Inter Milan, Manchester
Controversy: Mario Balotelli, also known as Super Mario, has had more than his fair share of trouble despite his young age. Enough trouble, in fact, that they would be better described in list form.
- While on Inter Milan, he appeared on TV wearing archrival's AC Milan jersey.
- He threw his Inter jersey on the turf after being substituted against Barcelona.
- Within days of joining Manchester City, he crashed his car.
- He threw darts at youth team members during training.
- Threw a fit over being unable to put on a training bib.
- Used his iPad on the substitute bench while on international duty with Italy.
- He and his friends set off fireworks in his home, causing a fire the night before a match.
- He broke his 48-hour curfew before a match against Chelsea to go a curry house.
At this rate, the best is yet to come for the young, volatile, explosive Italian hitman.
Ibrahimovic, AC Milan
Clubs: Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Milan
Controversy: Zlatan Ibrahimovic seems to never stay at one club for too long. His loyalty lies wherever he may receive the most success. This is evident in "Ibracadabra," winning nine titles with five teams. He has won the league title for whichever team he has been on every single season since 2001.
He has played for three of the top teams in Italy, all of which are huge continental rivals to the others. His often negative and volatile attitude on the pitch causes his fans to turn against him and he does not receive any respect or love from opposing fans either, being one of the biggest turncoats in world football.
He was involved in a violent brawl with then teammate Oguchi Onyewu, resulting in the American's eventual departure from the team and Ibra left with broken ribs. He is a black belt in taekwondo and has been seen using his martial art talent in playful but violent kicks on his own teammates.
One of the most talented players of his generation, Ibra has accomplished much as a player but has been a harbinger of discontent in the footballing world.
El Hadji Diouf
Controversy: El Hadji Diouf has gained more notoriety for his controversy than for his goal scoring. He never stays at a club for too long as evident by his long list of former clubs.
On Rennes he was convicted for getting in a car crash without a license.
During his early days in England he allegedly spat at fans and opponents. He spat at West Ham fans, and again at Celtic fans, which resulted in him getting charged with assault. While on Bolton he was charged by police for spitting on an eleven-year-old Middlesbrough fan, and later spat in the face of Portsmouth's Arjan de Zeeuw.
He made a racist slur at a ball boy against Everton, telling him to "F*** off, white boy." He was later arrested and charged for driving offenses in Manchester.
While on Rangers, he was sent off during the Old Firm Derby for an altercation with Celtic coach Neil Lennon as well as dissent towards the referee.
The wild-tempered former Senegal international just cannot seem to keep his spit inside his mouth. That may be part of the reason he cannot seem to put the ball in the net.
Who deserves to be on this list?
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