Premier League: Controversial XI

Luis Suarez, Mario Balotelli & John Terry are among the most controversial footballers of the Premier League era

Amrit Kachroo
Published 04/24/2013 15:40 by Amrit Kachroo, read by 34,374 people.

Most Premier League footballers divide opinion at some points in their career.

However, this 11 divided opinion more than most. Loved by their own fans but hated by everyone else, here is the Premier League's most controversial XI.

Manager: Jose Mourinho | Chelsea

Mourinho came to England after winning the Champions League with Porto and described himself as the "special one". His arrogance annoyed many managers but he had the skill to back it up and led Chelsea to two successive Premier League titles and an FA Cup. 

Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel | Manchester United, Aston Villa & Manchester City

For starters, Schmeichel made the brutal mistake of moving to City after enjoying a historic stint at Manchester United, where he won the treble. Even though he stayed there for just over a season, it didn't go down well with the Old Trafford faithful. 

Right-back: Gary Neville | Manchester United

Neville is known to absolutely hate United's rivals and that has made him a controversial figure among many football fans. One of the most memorable moments was when Rio Ferdinand scored a last-minute winner against Liverpool and Neville ran half the pitch to celebrate in front of the Liverpool fans which was disrespectful to say the least.

His quote, "I can't stand Liverpool, I can't stand the people, I can't stand anything to do with them" just brought upon more hate from opposing football fans. 

Centre-back: Sol Campbell | Tottenham, Arsenal, Portsmouth & Newcastle

Campbell came through the Spurs academy, becoming one of their best players, and while in his prime made the unacceptable switch to arch-rivals Arsenal. He was described as a 'Judas' by the Spurs fan and that controversial move even caused him to receive some death threats.

Centre-back: John Terry | Chelsea

Terry has been one of the most controversial players of the Premier League era. In 2001 he was fined two weeks wages for drunkenly mocking American tourists after 9/11, while in 2012 he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, leading to him being stripped of the England captaincy for the second time in his career.

Left-back: Ashley Cole | Arsenal & Chelsea

Cole developed into one of the best left-backs in the world at Arsenal but soon after left the club to join Chelsea, where he got paid double the amount he did at Arsenal, leading to hate from many fans.

Centre-midfielder: Joey Barton | Manchester City, Newcastle & QPR

Barton's career will be remembered for his off-field antics more than what he did on the pitch. Barton assaulted teammate Dabo in 2004 which was described as a cowardly act on his part. He also fought with an unknown man outside Liverpool city centre and eventually went to prison.

He joined QPR, admitting that he went for the money which didn't go well with Newcastle United fans, and on the last day of the season he was sent off for kicking Sergio Aguero - and was subsequently slapped with a 12-match ban. 

Centre-midfielder: Roy Keane | Nottingham Forest & Manchester United

One of his most controversial moments was when he injured Manchester City player Alf-Inge Haaland, who ended his career in 2003. He also criticized the home support at Old Trafford and the young players coming through at the club before eventually leaving for Celtic. 

Right-wing: Carlos Tevez | West Ham, Manchester United & Manchester City

Tevez has certainly become the most controversial foreigner in the Premier League. His move to City just after United won the league wasn't taken well by the fans, and he has since landed himself in controversy as he mocked Gary Neville when he scored a double in the 2010 Carling Cup semi-finals.

Last season, Tevez refused to warm up against Bayern Munich and subsequently went AWOL and returned to win the title with City. His recent antics behind the wheel have landed him with 250 hours of community service. 

Left-wing: Luis Suarez | Liverpool

Since Suarez has joined Liverpool he has been stuck with controversy. He was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, which earned him an eight-game ban - and soon after that he displayed an unpleasant gesture to the Fulham fans at Craven Cottage. He recently bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and was handed a 10-match ban by the FA.

Centre-forward: Eric Cantona | Leeds United & Manchester United

Cantona was one of the most controversial figures at United. He had a lot of arrogance and swagger which made opposition fans hate him. He famously kung-fu kicked a Crystal Palace fan in the stands and received a lengthy ban after that. 

Striker: Mario Balotelli | Manchester City

Balotelli will surely be missed in the Premier League, but mainly for his actions off the pitch. A media favourite, Balotelli had an unorthodox personality and often got himself into trouble. He threw darts at an academy player while at City and received a few red cards. Last season he had a major bust-up with Roberto Mancini at City's training ground as he left the club and returned to Italy.


DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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