Football has witnessed some pretty outrageous personalities over the years. Here are five to have graced the beautiful game.
Biggest Personalities In Football
“Zlatan is unique – he’s the only player in the world who measures 1.96 metres, has the technique of Lionel Messi, the character of Muhammad Ali, and the strength of Mike Tyson,” said his agent Mino Raiola.
And doesn’t he know it.
When you think of big personalities, you think Zlatan. This is a guy who was once pursued by police after driving his new Porsche Turbo at 155mph (he lost them), and on his arrival at Old Trafford announced: “I won’t be the King of Manchester. I will be the God of Manchester.” That was in response to Eric Cantona’s assertion that he himself will always be the king. The most outwardly self-confident footballer on the planet, Zlatan has the medals to back it up, having won league titles at every club he’s played at, bar United. Amazingly the Champions League still eludes him but he’ll get another crack at the competition in the 2017/18 season, assuming he stays on after his season ending knee injury.
By Doha Stadium Plus Qatar from Doha, Qatar (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
“I like Balotelli: he’s even crazier than me,” says Zlatan. “He can score a winner, then set fire to the hotel.” Indeed, Zlatan experienced Balotelli first hand during their time together at Inter Milan.
There are many Balotelli stories that are untrue or fabricated (he didn’t give £2000 to a homeless man, throw darts at Manchester City youth team players or confront a school bully, as had been reported) but Balotelli’s list of misdemeanours is extensive. He scrapped with City manager Roberto Mancini at the club’s Carrington training ground and had another altercation with team-mate Jerome Boateng. He set fire to part of his bathroom after a firework went the wrong direction in his garden, while bizarrely, he once drove into a woman’s prison in Italy to see what it was like.
But the joke’s on Balotelli. The sad reality is that he is now 26 and his poor attitude, poor discipline and inconsistency means that he is yet to come near to fulfilling his potential. Certainly never one to confidently include in your fantasy team when he was at Liverpool, because of so long spent out of favour.
One of the finest tacticians of the modern era, Mourinho’s trophy-haul is impressive. So is his capacity to upset people. During his time at Real Madrid, he fell out with Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo, and has shown few signs of reining it in since moving to Old Trafford. Luke Shaw experienced the manager’s wrath on several occasions last season, while the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both had their ‘bravery’ questioned after extensive spells on the sidelines through injury. The idea that Mourinho always defends his players is a myth.
By Aleksandr Osipov (José Mourinho) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
On his arrival at Chelsea, he announced that he was ‘The Special One’, and it’s hard to disagree. His record is certainly special, having won eight league titles, two Champions League titles, eight domestic cups, the Uefa Cup and the Europa League. He adapts for his opponents, and the way his Inter side famously held on with 10 men away to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final in 2010 will live long in the memory.
But so will his endless complaints. Opposition players, managers, the media, football authorities and referees have all felt the sharp side of Mourinho’s tongue over the years.
The former England star has enough stories to make up several autobiographies. From jumping inside a tumble dryer at Newcastle United and emerging so dizzy that he couldn’t stand to releasing a parrot his mate Jimmy Fivebellies had brought to a restaurant,
Gascoigne is one of the greatest personalities to ever grace the game. These are exactly the kind of stories that appear in episode 4 of Dickov Diaries on Betsafe.
Unfortunately, a plethora of serious injuries and poor decisions off the field meant the most naturally talented English footballer of his generation was unable to dominate the game in the way he should have done.
Continued stories of his alcoholism suggests he has yet to conquer his demons and it appears that no one is capable of helping him get out of his sorry state.
By Jonesy702 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Paolo Di Canio
One of the few players in the history of the game to actually push a referee to the floor, Di Canio led a colourful career in Italy, Scotland and England. His push on referee Paul Alcock when playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal in 1998 earned him an 11-game ban from the Football Association and a £10,000 fine.
That might not even be the most controversial incident of his career. The Italian was also pictured performing a fascist salute when playing for Lazio, although he denied he was a racist.
Harry Redknapp, always good for a story, will also tell you about the time that Di Canio threw a strop and refused to participate for West Ham in a match against Bradford and demanded to be substituted. Redknapp denied the request and he went on to score a hat-trick.