The football feuds XI

Ollie Irish

15th, November 2007


Football is full of bust ups from training ground incidents to heat filled moments during matches and behind the scenes – it’s a man’s game after all. But, while some can leave their anger on the field, there are others that just can’t let it go.
Sometimes these battles go beyond sport and get personal resulting in scarred relationships that will never truly heal. We’ve come up with a first XI of football’s most famous enduring arguments, starting with:
Roy Keane and Alf Inge Haaland
Only Keano could spend four years carrying a violent grudge after Haaland insulted him while he lay on the ground injured in 1997. The next time they met Keane practically ended his career with a dish of revenge served with the studs up – or “Take that you c*nt,” as he put it in his autobiography.

Alex Ferguson and anyone
To coin one of his own quotes, Fergie ‘could start a fight in an empty room’. The all-time king of quarrels has fallen out with owners (Coolmore Mafia), chairmen (Martin Edwards), staff (Brian Kidd), managers (Arsene Wenger), players (David Beckham etc.) and pizzas – cross him at your peril.
John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic
The overweight Welshman took offence to a training ground tackle by booting the Israeli square in the head. “If it had been a football, it would have flown into the back of the net,” said Berkovic – mistakenly giving Hartson more credit for his shooting skills than he deserves.
Graeme Le Saux and Robbie Fowler
Playground innuendos ensued when a thoughtless Scouser from the streets clashed with ‘the thinking man’s footballer’ as Fowler questioned Le Saux’s sexuality by offering him his arse during a game between Liverpool and Chelsea in 1998 – we’re not sure if Robbie managed to get his number after all.
Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole
Manchester United’s ‘silent partnership’ up front came about after Sheringham blamed Cole for giving away a Bolton goal in 1998. The two never spoke to each other again during their time at Old Trafford, although it didn’t stop them winning the Treble.
Arsenal and Manchester United
Since their 21-man brawl on the pitch in the early 90s, these games have been no stranger to controversy. There’s been Martin Keown swooping on van Nistelrooy after a missed penalty and the Battle of the Buffet a couple of years later – men will be boys
Sam Allardyce and the BBC
Big Sam took exception to a BBC documentary that tried to expose him as a bung hungry manager, ably abetted by his loudmouth agent son. No charges were brought against him but he refuses to speak with the Beeb and conveniently escapes post match questioning when Newcastle lose.
Simon Jordan and Iain Dowie
The perma-tanned chairman rode his high horse all the way to the court room and successfully sued the facially challenged manager when it was agreed that Dowie lied to negotiate his way out of Crystal Palace to be nearer to his family in Bolton – by taking over Charlton.
Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich
The relationship started rosy when the Special One arrived but fell apart three seasons later after successive clashes over directors of football, restricted signings, team tactics and a Ukrainian striker. How do you solve a problem like Mourinho? Money talks, Jose walks.
Ian Wright and Peter Schmeichel
What’s with all these warring Arsenal and Man United players? Wrighty’s gripe with the Great Dane dates back to 1996 when he accused the keeper of a racial insult after diving in late – although the two had to put it behind them while sharing awkward screen time as BBC pundits.
Alan Sugar and Terry Venables
When Sugar told Venables he was ‘fired’ as chief executive at Spurs back in 1993 the pair became locked in a lengthy legal battle. Venables unsuccessfully sued to the tune of around £100,000 and then was issued with a legal writ by Sugar for comments made in his autobiography.
Let us know if you can think of any other differences of opinion that have never died down

Posted in Top 10s & lists

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What about bad boy Joey Barton? Surely he deserves a mentioning..being the a**hole of up north?

  2. Wayales is it? says:

    Craig Bellamy and Graeme Souness have never really seen eye to eye – not least because Bellamy’s a dwarf

  3. Flo says:

    Fergie is undoubtably the king of feuds…he taught Big Sam how it’s done with his on-going blanking of the BBC

  4. Jon says:

    David James and Sky. When Sky told James that his dish would not be fixed for a couple of months he didnt speak to them until it was. Not a major fued i’ll agree but quite a funny 1.

  5. Jim says:

    Kieron Dyer v Lee Bowyer. This was a rivalry that we don’t know much about, but culminated in full-on fisticuffs in front of their home supporters in the middle of a terrible season for the toon. I blame it on Souness. The look on his face after this incident showed us that he had totally lost control of his squad of overpaid and undisciplined louts. The elaborate press apology didn’t convince the supporters and board and souness was shown the door soon after.

  6. Sid says:

    Jose v Barca for a couple of seasons was pretty good too…

  7. Sid says:

    another couple:
    Platini v Pablo Larios – apparently Larios was sleeping with Platini’s wife….
    and more recently:
    C Ronaldo v Van Nistelrooy (alledgedly)

  8. sam says:

    what about the whole of Barcelona vs Figo? surely having a pigs head thrown at you has to rank up there somewhere?

  9. Chringle says:

    David ‘definition of average’ Batty vs Graeme ‘Le’ Saux.

  10. flo says:

    didn’t Di Canio once tell David James that his two year old daughter was a quicker learner? lol :D

  11. Jay says:

    Benitez and Jose Mourinho

  12. Bezzo says:

    Massimo Taibi and the ball during ‘The Blind Venetian’s’ spell at United.

  13. mog fimmers says:

    lol Bezzo, i didn’t know Taibi was nicknamed that ! a very funny one
    i want to add a feud if you may: jean-luc sassus (lyon) and his goalie pascal olmeta (lyon), back in 1996 (olmeta punched his head, because sassus had done or said something wrong about his wife)

  14. James says:

    heh what about Zidane v materazzi?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Shearer and Keane?

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