By Chris Wright
In “tribute” (not entirely sure that’s the right word, to be honest) to Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse swapping bodily fluids with one another last night, here’s 10 more infamous footballing spit-gits…
1. Frank Rijkaard
Perhaps the most famous of all football spitting incidents, Rijkaard was nicknamed ‘The Llama’ by the German press after leaving a slimy little bauble of phlegm dangling in Rudi Voller’s dense tresses at Italia 90.
2. Lionel Messi
To look at him you’d think that butter wouldn’t melt, but the facade did slip momentarily in 2008 when Messi spat at the back of Malaga midfielder Duda’s shirt in retaliation for a string of “robust” challenges from the Brazilian.
3. El Hadji Diouf
While at Bolton the ever loveable Senegalese striker was banned, fined and sent to counselling after spitting at Portsmouth’s Arjan de Zeeuw. He was also alleged to have spat at Middlesbrough fans and even picked up a court fine during his Liverpool days for openly spitting at a Celtic fan.
4. Gerard Pique
Well and truly plastered on Spain’s World Cup-winners bus parade in 2010, Pique sullied his reputation by drunkenly gobbing on Pedro Cortes, the director of the Spanish football federation.
Cortes later said that while Pique’s spit was childish, he had no bad feelings towards the player.
5. Patrick Vieira
The then-Arsenal man virtually took a running jump before launching a huge ball of spittle towards West Ham scrapper Neil Ruddock in 1999.
The Frenchman was not best pleased after being sent-off, later saying: “Spitting at a fellow professional is something I sincerely regret. I apologise to everyone involved.”
He may have been sorry, but not half as sorry as when he received a six-match ban and a £45,000 fine for his troubles.
6. Fabien Barthez
Barthez was banned for six months (three of which were suspended) after he ran onto the pitch from the bench and spat at referee Abdellah El Achiri (skip to 2:15) during the closing minutes of a particularly volatile “friendly” game against Wydad Casablanca in 2005.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo escaped without punishment despite spitting at Robbie Savage (we can almost – almost – forgive him) after the pair of innately unlikeable rogues tangled during an FA Cup fifth round tie at Pride Park in 2009.
The very next year, Ronaldo also took a fair bit of flak after appearing to spit directly at a cameraman following Portugal’s defeat against Spain at the 2010 World Cup.
It all began when Seydou Keita refused to shake hands with Pepe before an ill-tempered friendly between Roma and Real Madrid in Texaas last summer, on account of the Portuguese defender allegedly calling him a “monkey” during Keita’s time at Barcelona.
Pepe then retaliated to the snub by spitting at Keita’s back while the two teams milled around before kick-off, with Keita hitting back by throwing a water bottle in the other direction.
9. Raul Meireles
Meireles was slapped with an 11-game ban by the Turkish Football Federation for spitting and “making homosexual gestures” towards a referee during Fenerbahce’s game against Galatasaray in December of 2012.
The Portuguese midfielder attempted to use the trusty “Look at my hair and clothes; they’re a bit gay” defence, but the suspension was upheld.
While playing for Udinese at the time, Danilo was sentenced to 11 months in prison in 2013 for racially abusing and spitting on opponent while playing for former club Palmeiras two years previous.
After appearing in court in Brazil, the sentence was later reduced to a £100,000 fine on appeal and Danilo was allowed to return to Italy.
(Dis)honourable mentions: Francesco Totti, Sinisia Mijaihlovic, Antolin Alcaraz, Sergio Ramos, Eric Addo, Robert Snodgrass, etc.
Any more for any more? Hit us with your suggestions Pies fans…