Football is well known as one of the most emotional sports, providing plenty of drama from the first to last whistle. However, sometimes, feelings run high and despite being on the same page, teammates have famously clashed both on and off the pitch for whatever reason. The latest pair to do just that was Cardiff City’s Callum Paterson and Leandro Bacuna following their defeat to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday. So, following the heated exchange in Wales, we’ve decided to take a look back at some other occasions in football when teammates haven’t seen eye to eye.
Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer
Back in 2005, Newcastle United midfielders Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer were involved in one of the most dramatic on pitch altercations the Premier League has ever seen. The two came to blows during a 3-0 home defeat against Aston Villa and were sent off in front of the St James’ Park crowd.
Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling
Just last year, Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling were involved in a heated exchange during Liverpool’s win over Manchester City. The international break followed the fixture at Anfield, and the England internationals were involved in another altercation at the Three Lions’ base, with Sterling subsequently missing one of the two upcoming fixturees.
David Batty and Graeme Le Saux
David Batty and Graeme Le Saux were two of England’s best players in 1995 and were plying their club trade with Blackburn Rovers when they didn’t see eye to eye. The pair were banned for two European games for their on-field punch-up against Spartak Moscow.
Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise
Craig Bellamy was known for his wild antics as a player, and one of his famous altercations came with Liverpool teammate John Arne Riise. The Welshman attacked the defender with a golf club ahead of the Reds’ Champions League last-16 clash against Barcelona in 2007. He then produced the famous celebration in reference to the incident at the Nou Camp.
Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner
Arsenal were already losing 4-1 in the League Cup in 2008 to north London rivals Tottenham when Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner decided to have an on-field spat, so it wasn’t ideal for anyone associated with the Gunners, especially when Bendtner was left with a bloodied nose! Adebayor revealed in recent years that his clash with Bendtner was one of the biggest regrets in his career – not a major surprise.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Oguchi Onyewu
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back at AC Milan, but during his first stint with the Italian giants, he was involved in a famous training ground brawl with American Oguchi Onyewu. The experienced striker described the physical incident as ‘life and death’, with Ibrahimovic sustaining a broken rib as a result.
Neymar and Nelson Semedo
Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, but shortly before his Nou Camp exit, the Brazilian was involved in a clash with new signing Nelson Semedo. The two ended up fighting during a training session on the tour of the United States which was even captured on camera!
Ousmane Dembele and Roman Burki
Ousmane Dembele was brought in to replace Neymar at Barcelona, and he also had a training ground bust-up while at Borussia Dortmund. He repeatedly went after goalkeeper Roman Burki and had to be restrained by teammates.
Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle
Famous high-profile clashes have also occurred further down the leagues, with Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle involved in a dramatic coming together for Preston back in 2016. The two North End strikers were sent off near the end of the 2-1 loss against Sheffield Wednesday for fighting each other, with boss Simon Grayson labelling the pair an “absolute embarrassment”.
Joey Barton and Ousmane Dabo
2007 was a memorable year for Joey Barton, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. The midfielder was jailed for six months at the end year following a fight outside a McDonald’s, but before that, the Manchester City man was involved in a brawl with Ousmane Dabo. Barton struck Dabo several times, and as a result, the Frenchman had to be treated in hospital.
Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings
Earlier this season, Aston Villa duo Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings collided in the club’s 0-0 draw with West Ham. No action was taken against the pair, however, VAR could have easily intervened!
Sergio Ramos and Sergio Reguilon
Sergio Ramos and Sergio Reguilon look like friends in the picture, but they weren’t so keen on each other following a training ground altercation in 2018! Reguilon was looking to make his mark as a youngster, however, after catching Ramos with an elbow, he became the target and had the ball kicked in anger twice in his direction!
Andy Carroll and Steven Taylor
Andy Carroll actually hospitalised Newcastle teammate Steven Taylor after a training ground bust-up in 2010. Carroll’s punch after a disagreement broke the defender’s jaw and kept him sidelined for some time.
John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic
John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic linked up brilliantly for West Ham, however, they were involved in one of the most famous training ground altercations back in 1998. The Welsh forward lashed out at the midfielder and kicked him in the face! Hartson was rightly fined for his actions and labelled the incident as the biggest regret of his career.
Ricardo Fuller and Andy Griffin
Stoke City’s Ricardo Fuller and Andy Griffin were clearly not in the festive spirit in 2008 and clashed in the Potters’ 2-1 defeat to West Ham. Fuller slapped teammate Griffin and was sent off at Upton Park.
Bruce Grobbelaar and Steve McManaman
Bruce Grobbelaar was furious with Steve McManaman during the Merseyside derby with Everton in 1993 and made his feelings clear. However, the goalkeeper probably wasn’t expecting the young midfielder to react the way he did, which ended up with the pair shoving each other in the face!