Professional footballers in the modern era are subjected to significant scrutiny and criticism by the media and the court of public opinion. The rise of players’ salaries and transfer fees to ridiculous proportions has only served to increase this scrutiny as fans and the public alike demand exemplary behaviour from players earning hundreds of thousand pounds a month for playing a game. This level of scrutiny can be overblown however, directing anger and criticism at misunderstood stars who appear to have done little wrong to deserve such treatment.
One such example is the ex-Manchester and England defender Rio Ferdinand, who has frequently attracted characterisation in the media and amongst the public as being too flash, cocky and full of himself. Ferdinand’s agent, Chris Nathaniel, believes criticism of Rio are unfounded and come from people with no knowledge of him choosing to listen to other people’s mischaracterisations. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the most disliked footballers in the modern era and attempted to uncover some of the reasons why.
We’re kicking off with the Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos. Whilst he is no doubt adored by fans of Los Blancos, Ramos has gained a reputation as one of the dirtiest players in professional football, which is backed up by his record of over twenty red cards as well as his involvement in arguments, skirmishes and even diving on the pitch.
Despite being arguably the best player on the planet, Christiano Ronaldo remains a divisive figure due to his petulance, diving and perceived arrogance on and off the pitch. Ronaldo received a lot of criticism during his time at Manchester United, although it appears his behaviour is more widely accepted in La Liga with Real madrid.
Luis Suarez is a notorious figure in the world of football, a result largely of him biting opponents on three separate occasions! Whilst Suarez has attempted to defend himself by arguing that biting is “relatively harmless”, fellow players and the public appear to disagree with the Uruguayan who is frequently the target of jeers and chants from fans.
John Terry has had his fair share of negative headlines over the years and continues to be disliked by large sections of the footballing world. The list of Terry’s misdemeanours includes; being charged with assault and affray outside a nightclub, parking his Bentley in a disabled space, cheating on his wife and two children by having an affair with a team-mate’s girlfriend and allegedly racially abusing fellow defender Anton Ferdinand during a match.