Football players are often under lots of pressure and criticism if they are not playing on the level they were expected. Some of them are choosing to leave their clubs and hope for a better future in a new place. Facing a former club is usually a great occasion to play well and even score against their old team. But some players even went further than this in the biggest revenge taken by footballers.
Football can be a tough game, especially nowadays when no one’s place is guaranteed. Even big stars can be thrown out easily due to their declining forms, to many injuries, or just because of their age. But selling your players to a big rival might not be the best tactic, as on your next meeting the player could be well motivated to take revenge and play in his best form against his former employer. Of course, in most cases, players don’t make a big fuss about meeting an old team. But in the following cases, they definitely didn’t leave their former clubs on a happy note.
Biggest revenge taken by footballers on former clubs
Emmanuel Adebayor was a player of Arsenal for three years and left Manchester City in 2009. But his departure might not have been the best. On his return to the Emirates, he scored against his former club and celebrated his goal with a run to the Arsenal supporters and with a knee slide in front of them. What’s more, many of his former teammates, like Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas complained about his violent behavior on the pitch. The Togolese were later banned for three matches by the FA after deliberately kicking van Persie in his face.
Ironically Van Persie also took revenge on Arsenal, but in a more peaceful way. He scored in the 3rd minute against the Gunners and helped his new team, Manchester United to victory. As online sportsbooks in the UK were reporting van Persie and the club’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis had different views on the future and how to improve on the team’s performance. Fans were not happy with van Persie’s leave, especially to an old rival, United. TV presenter Piers Morgan was one of them who criticized the striker on every forum. In his reply, the Dutch sent him a photo of himself kissing the Premier League trophy that he won with his new club. Though the Premier League is on hold, you can still make bets on virtual games of the Premier League on bet365.
Revenge after joining biggest rivals
To join a big rival of a former club can upset fans, but nowhere that much as in Spain. So when one of Barcelona’s biggest, Luis Figo joined Real Madrid for the 2000/01 season, Barca fans were extremely angry. On his return to Camp Nou, he was thrown at with different things from oranges to cigarette lighters. To avoid more confrontations with the fans Figo didn’t take any corners, and Real went to lose the game 2-0. But at the end of the season, the Portuguese and the Los Blancos could be happy, after winning La Liga. Figo also received the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2001 which probably just deepened the hatred towards him in Barcelona.
Similar treason was committed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who played for Inter for three years. He won the Serie A and the Champions League with the club. After a short spell at Barcelona, he came back to Italy but joined the cross-town rival, AC Milan. In the first game against Inter, he scored from a penalty and celebrated it in full joy before his former teammates. Ibra is back in Milan again and might cause more annoyance to his former club.
Instant revenge on the pitch
During a football game, several contacts can happen between the players, with some of them being quite nasty. Like it happened with former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane who wasn’t a saint himself. But in the game against Leeds United, he got injured after trying to foul Norwegian Alf-Inge Haaland. Haaland stood over him and told him not to overreact, which wasn’t taken too well by Keane. Especially as he had to leave out the rest of the season after. But he got his revenge when they met again four years later in a Manchester derby. Keane kicked Haaland badly and was sent off straight away. It was one of the biggest revenge taken by footballers, even if it wasn’t a very nice action.
A memorable World Cup final
There must be only a few people who don’t remember the final of the 2006 World Cup. The game wasn’t bad either, but what we can’t forget is the incident between Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi. The two goalscorers got into an argument in the extra time, with Materazzi making insulting comments before Zidane head-butted him. The French were sent-off and couldn’t take part in the crucial penalty shots, where Italy won at the end. So Zizou took his revenge but it was Materazzi who could be happy at the end. France is the current world champion and a big favorite to defend its title in the 2022 World Cup. To find similar odds, visit bet365 and for more information read our latest review about bet365 sportsbook.