Opposing teams and players getting aggressive and starting a fight, on or off the field, is common, but fighting between teammates doesn’t happen often. While there are plenty of teammates who look at each other like brothers, there are a few examples of players who couldn’t coexist with each other.
It's bound to happen when an athlete spends so much time as a group, and with the fame, jealousy and rivalry that exists in a team, there are bound to be instances when even friends turn into foes!
In honour of those players, we take a look at seven teammates who hate each other. Some of them may have started as good friends and others never really liked the other and thus “events” then proceeded to take place which earned them a spot on this list.
Whether it was due to pride, egos or contrasting personalities that led to those “events”, here are a few teammates who didn’t like each other.
6. Gerard Pique and Alvaro Arbeloa
Gerard Pique is a player that is hated by the Real Madrid squad and has probably had at least one fight with every current Los Blancos player. He has however saved his worst insults for former Spain team-mate Arbeloa. A Barca man through and through, Pique mocked Los Blancos after they were ejected from the Copa Del Ray for playing an ineligible player.
But their feud runs much deeper and goes back to 2013, at least, after Madrid had beaten Elche with a 94th-minute penalty.
The two have since clashed multiple times both on social media and on the pitch, especially when Barcelona have faced Real Madrid, with Pique taking the feud one step forward by saying that he has never considered Arbeloa a friend or a teammate and even compared him to a cone.
The battle became so vitriolic that Spain captain Sergio Ramos had to intervene and request Pique to respect his team-mates.
However, it looks like the two may have made up or rather Pique stepped up and took his international captain's advice. Before Arbeloa’s final game for Real Madrid, Pique wished his Spain teammate the best of luck for the future and also went to say that the Spanish international deserved all the accolades that he has won thus far.
5. Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham
Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham were one of United’s infamous strike partners who managed to score a goal every 84.6 minutes, but while they did play together for over four years in a Manchester United jersey, Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole never saw eye-to-eye at Old Trafford.
The two English strikers won the Champions League and Premier League during that time, and the two famously lacked any chemistry what so ever off the pitch but it never affected their work as they had Dwight Yorke to act as their go-between man.
According to Cole himself, the feud began during his England debut against Uruguay. Cole was waiting to be substituted on for Sheringham and was scared witless at what was about to happen. He, however, expected that the experienced Sheringham would offer a handshake and some words of encouragement.
But contrary to the matter, nothing materialised, and Sheringham walked off, actively snubbing the debutant, who was shocked. While it may seem like an overreaction by Cole, it’s only when you dig deeper into Sheringham’s possible thoughts that the answer pops out.
His move to United from Spurs was rumoured to happen for quite some time, and once it did, the No. 10 struggled and was just another player at the club, whereas, at Tottenham, he was the top-dog.
The snub was actually about the contempt that the older striker had for, the more direct, younger and explosive competitor. In an article, Cole himself wrote, “I wouldn't ever cast aspersions on Sheringham's talent as a top-rate footballer for his clubs and country. I've just loathed him personally for 15 years.”
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Oguchi Onyewu
Zlatan is a player whose single appearance on this list wouldn’t make him happy, and thankfully he’s made it twice. During his brawl with his former AC Milan teammate, Oguchi Onyewu, Ibrahimovic wound up breaking a rib bone. The tall striker, known for his flamboyant goals as well his irresistible combination of his personality and his off-pitch antics, which is one of the many reasons that Jose Mourinho signed him at Manchester United.
Despite all that, it was during his time with AC Milan back in 2010 that the Swede clashed with the USMNT defender. Ibrahimovic, a black belt in Taekwondo with an affinity for kicking his teammates, came to blows with Onyewu after the striker initiated it with a horrible tackle. The Swede missed though as the defender jumped just in time, but it was the aftermath of the tackle that led to Zlatan’s rib being broken.
The 6’ 5” defender didn’t like the tackle and decided to punch the Swede who returned that with a headbutt. A brutal fight then ensued between the two with them aiming to tear each other’s limbs off.
It took nearly ten players and coaches to pull the two players off each other and even then it looked as if the fight never ended. The fight made headlines all over the world and Oguchi Onyewu eventually leaving Milan in 2011.
In his autobiography, Zlatan wrote about the fight saying, “Onyewu resembled a heavyweight boxer. He was nearly 6ft 5in and weighed over 15 stone, but he couldn’t handle me.”
3. Kolo Toure and William Gallas
Kolo Toure and Willam Gallas, two centre-backs at the heart of the Arsenal defence, who were crucial to any Champions League hopes the Gunners had before something changed in their final season together. During that time, the two men barely spoke to each other, which led to major problems with the Arsenal back four.
Gallas, who is a highly combustible character, refused to speak to the Ivory Coast defender after the Frenchman lost the captaincy, following what was a rather bizarre post-match reaction to a 2-2 draw with Birmingham City.
Reports, however, claim that the incident never sparked a feud between them, and it was because of Gallas that Toure was sold the forthcoming season to Manchester City. It wasn’t just that Ivorian that Gallas had a falling out with, although the Ivory Coast defender was the only one sold because of it. Toure spoke about the incident later, saying, “Our relationship has improved, but it’s just a professional relationship. Once we are on the pitch, we try to keep a professional attitude and to communicate.”
This, however, made it extremely hard for the Gunners to have a go at either the Champions League or FA Cup with their defenders refusing to communicate; this threatened to derail their entire campaign and come January, Toure asked to leave. That request was denied, and the defender was asked to stay until the end of the season so that Arsenal could try and salvage something from that campaign.
Nothing came of it though, and Toure eventually left after giving seven years of service to the club while Gallas shifted a year later to Tottenham Hotspur.
2. Mauro Icardi and Maxi Lopez
Following his controversial feud with former teammate Maxi Lopez, Mauro Icardi was axed from the Argentine national team, and reports say that Lionel Messi’s asked for the striker on loan from Inter Milan striker to be dropped.
The striker pair were team-mates at Sampdoria when Icardi entered into a relationship with and later married Lopez’s wife, Wanda Nara. Lopez has since refused to even acknowledge his former team-mate’s existence on both the football pitch or in his children’s lives.
Icardi, who is nine years younger than Lopez, was initially a fan while he was still a youth team player at Sampdoria, where Lopez was playing for the senior team. It was later revealed that Icardi had an affair with Lopez’s now ex-wife, Wanda Nara, before marrying her less than six months after the divorce between Lopez and Nara.
It got even worse after the younger striker started posting photos of Lopez’s children and him on twitter and according to an Argentine journalist, the Mafia got involved. They were willing to break the then 23-year old striker’s legs and end his career for Lopez, who refused the offer.
Lopez does, however, have Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and the entire Inter Milan home crowd in his corner battling for him as they all give Icardi a hard time.
1. Igor Stimac and Sinisa Mihajlovic
Stimac and Mihajlovic knew each other as teenagers and even played together in the 1987 World Cup-winning Yugoslavian team. While they were teammates in the national team, they often met on opposing sides for their respective clubs in two neighbouring cities. Igor Stimac is from the southern part of Croatia but was on loan to Dinamo Vinkovci as a 19-year-old.
Sinisa Mihaklovic grew up about 20 km away from Vinkovci, which is the railroad transfer point between the north-eastern part of Croatia close to where the modern-day Serbian border is. The two did socialise with different people but would often meet in bars and cafes, despite their friends pressuring them not to talk, they would greet and chat about football.
Then the war started between Croatia and Serbia, and 12 Croatian police officers were killed and three Serbian militia in a gunfight meters away from where Mihajlovic grew up. The town was levelled to the ground, and less than a few weeks later the Yugoslavian Cup final was played in Belgrade.
Red Star Belgrade met a Hajduk Split who were wearing bands in honour of the fallen police with Igor Stimac as the captain for Hajduk Split and Sinisa Mihajlovic for the Serbian side.
However, when the two met for kick-off, Stimac leaned forward and whispered to his old friend and former teammate, “I hope our guys kill your entire family in Borovo.” And since phone lines to Borovo had been down for several days, Mihajlovic had no clue if his family was alive or not.
So angry was Mihajlovic that he attacked the Hajduk captain every second he got. He forgot about the Cup final and spent every second of the game trying to injure Stimac, and the game ended up a brutal kickboxing match with the two eventually sent off. Hajduk won the game 1-0 and Stimac raising the cup said, “It’s ours forever now. The Yugoslavian Cup will never be played again.”