Top 5 Bad Boys in Football
Presenting the infamous soccer players of all time -- inside and outside of the football fied.
Soccer players have been on the spotlight over controversial matters, both on and off the pitch. These players have their reputation at stake through their aggressive acts such as biting fellow players, punching referees and kicking fans. Some have had a brush with the law and served time in jail. Here is a look at the football top 5 bad boys in the world.
5.) Luis Suarez
Club: FC Barcelona
Year active: 2005-current
Luis Suarez is surely one very talented player, playing for the Uruguay national team and Barcelona. However, he has been the center of a number of controversies including racial abuse on Manchester United player Patrice Evra in 2011. This attracted an eight-match ban and £40,000 fine. Other incidences involving the bad boy include fighting with Albert Luque, his Ajax teammate in 2009 and deliberately handling the ball to prevent Ghana from scoring in the 2010 World Cup.
The most notorious incidents involving the player are his repeated biting cases. Not one but three instances. The very first case happened in November 2010 when he bit PSV defender Otman Bakkal earning him a seven-game ban. About three years later, while playing for Liverpool, he bit a Chelsea defender, Blanislav Ivanovic, resulting in a 10 match suspension. He went on to repeat the same callous act during the 2014 World Cup by biting Giorgio Chiellini of Italy. These three bites secure Luis Suarez the top spot in the bad boys list.
4.) Diego Maradona
Years active: 1976-1997
Going through any list of the greatest soccer players of all time, you will certainly come across Diego Maradona. He is a decorated Argentinian player whom on the other side has faced recurring controversies. Also known for provoking an opponent and starting ugly fights. The infamous "Hand of God" at the 1986 World Cup stands out as one of the most memorable moment in his career. His goal against England that propelled Argentina to win 2-1 was a topic of debate. He equalized the scores through punching the ball into the net with his left fist before adding a second later.
Maradona was sent home during the 1994 World Cup after he failed a drug test for Ephedrine. He was handed a 15 month ban. At the time of his football career, he faced issues with cocaine addiction at Barcelona and Napoli. After his retirement in 1997, Maradona went through troubling health problems as a result of earlier drug abuse.
3.) Mario Balotelli
Years Active: 2006-current
The 24 year old Liverpool and Italian player has faced disciplinary matters in the past. Balotelli has often got into trouble for his bad behavior and temperament. At times he tends to act without caring about the consequences, a factor that attracted much speculation during his recent move to Liverpool.
The player had a falling-out with Jose Mourinho in 2010, then the Inter Milan coach. At his time at Inter, he wore a Milan jersey, their arch rivals, on live television. This bad boy then moved to Manchester City where he threw a dart at a player during his first season at the club. Later on he had an altercation with Roberto Mancini, the city coach, after a bad tackle on a team mate during training.
It is not over yet. In October 2010, he and his brother were interrogated by prison officers after they drove into a women’s prison without permission. A year later, Balotelli together with his friends let off fireworks setting fire on his bathroom, an incident that triggered his infamous celebration the following day after scoring against Manchester United where he displayed a t-shirt underneath bearing the words "Why Always Me".
2.) Eric Cantona
Years Active: 1983-1997
Eric Cantona had a glorious career at Manchester United but still got the bad boy reputation. The major incident was when he attacked a Crystal Palace fan in 1995, after being sent off for deliberately kicking Richard Shaw, a Crystal defender.
He was found guilty and sentenced to two weeks in prison. An appeal saw the sentence reduced to 120 hours of community service. Though, he still got a ban of eight months and a two-week wages fine by the club.
Cantona was not new to controversies as earlier on in his career he punched a teammate on the face at Auxerre. His reactions when substituted and bad behavior saw him face more suspensions and fines. This includes a three month suspension for throwing a ball at a referee after disputing a violation.
1.) Paul Gascoigne
Years active: 1985-2004
Some remember Gascoigne for his remarkable skills while others can hardly forget his violent behavior. After retiring from his professional career, he struggled with alcohol and drug addiction on top of emotional problems. He faced numerous arrests and charges for drunk driving and drug possession.
Paul has been in rehab a number of times though this only turns out to be a temporary solution. These problems put an end to his coaching career after losing his job in 2005 with Kettering Town. He faced a petition for not filling for tax returns but went on to successfully win a case on his bankruptcy in 2011.