While the majority of footballers can be accused of many things, most of them can’t be classed as trash talkers like we see in other sports such as boxing’s Floyd Mayweather and MMA’s Conor McGregor. While most players are confident in their skills, even the best can usually be considered relatively humble about their abilities. When did you last hear Lionel Messi brag?
With that said, there have been – and still are - a handful of players who are hugely outspoken, whether they like to brag about their own skills or put down the abilities of opponents or former teammates. Sometimes it makes them more popular, but sometimes it makes fans dislike them – and sometimes it’s somewhere in the middle.
In no particular order, here are ten of the most outspoken footballers of all time.
#1: Craig Bellamy
Welsh striker Craig Bellamy was a Premier League staple for well over a decade, playing for the likes of Newcastle, Manchester City and Liverpool and scoring plenty of goals along the way. Unfortunately, Bellamy also cultivated somewhat of an unsavoury reputation, largely because of his outspoken nature off the pitch.
He began his Premier League career with Coventry in 2000/01, but after leaving them following their relegation that season, he claimed the club lacked intensity, felt his teammates resented him and always knew they were going to struggle. In 2009 he famously threw his own Wales side under the bus, calling them “poor” after they’d conceded two goals against Finland.
Opponents weren’t out of reach either, with Bellamy deciding to wade into the John Terry/Wayne Bridge controversy in 2010 by claiming that nothing about Terry’s behaviour surprised him as “everybody in football” knew what he was like.
Considering most of his outspoken soundbites tended to be negative it’s no wonder his reputation wasn’t stellar with opposing fans.