The Most Hated Premier League Players of All Time

14 Nov 2023

Among the most hated Premier League players of all time are racists, those with anger issues and those that cheat on a teammate's wife. Let's take a look at the worst 8 in history.

8. Nicolas Anelka

Nicknamed 'Le Sulk', Nicolas Anelka was known for being extremely disruptive, stubborn and unable to accept authority. He was known for not getting along with his managers. Anelka almost caused a mutiny in France's 2010 World Cup campaign after verbally abusing coach Raymond Domenech and was sent home.

At club level Anelka missed the decisive penalty for Chelsea during the 2008 Champions League Final penalty shootout loss to Manchester United and blamed manager Avram Grant for it. His time in the Premier League ended in controversial circumstances in 2014 when his contract with West Brom was terminated following his anti-Semitic quenelle hand gesture celebrations.

7. Gary Neville

Gary Neville was one of the best Premier League right-backs but he was an aggressive hard-tackler and drew criticism for his outspokenness and a habit of getting involved in conflicts with opponents. Liverpool won't forget when Neville ran from the halfway line to celebrate a 90th minute winner in front of their fans.

Neville's also been blamed with urging England players to go on strike before the Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey in protest of Rio Ferdinand's eight-month ban, one of the longest player bans in English Premier League history.

6. Emmanuel Adebayor

One of the most hated Premier League players of all time and one that angers Arsenal fans is Emmanuel Adebayor. He had a poor attitude and was a dressing room distraction. After three and a half successful seasons with Arsenal, Adebayor joined rivals Manchester City. In his first game against his former club and after scoring, he ran the entire length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal supporters.

In the same game he was also accused of deliberately kicking former teammate Robin van Persie in the face which he was found guilty of violent conduct. Moreover, in the same game he also allegedly slapped one of his closest friends Alex Song and tried to step on Cesc Fabregas.

5. Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy helped Newcastle remain a competitive force in the Premier League but many found him to be one of the most hated Premier League players of all time. Multiple referees have gone on the record to say that Bellamy was the worst player to referee. He once got into a wrestling match with former first team coach John Carver and was involved with sending provocative texts to Newcastle hero Alan Shearer in 2005.

Bellamy also physically attacked teammate John Arne Riise with a golf club in 2007, slapped a Manchester United fan in the Manchester derby in 2009 and was arrested for assault in 2011 while at Cardiff City.

4. El Hadji Diouf

El Hadji Diouf is remembered as one of the most hated Premier League players in history particularly because of his filthy habit of spitting at fans and players. He was even found guilty of spitting at an 11-year old Middlesbrough fan. Diouf also once taunted QPR player Jamie Mackie when he lay on the pitch with a broken leg.

Not only did he get on the wrong side of his teammates and opposition fans, his own fans couldn't even stand him. Diouf had a well known feud with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard which peaked during an infamous pre-season dressing room bust up.

3. John Terry

John Terry was an exceptional centre back but his behaviour made him one of the most hated Premier League players of all time. In 2001 Terry and three teammates mocked American tourists in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

In 2009 Terry thought it would be a good idea to have a four-month affair with the girlfriend of his very good friend and Chelsea teammate Wayne Bridge. As a result Terry was stripped of the England captaincy in the aftermath. In 2012 he would lose the captaincy again following the racial abuse of QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

2. Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is one of the greatest strikers of all-time but is arguably the hated player in Premier League history. Suarez's sportsmanship was atrocious and he was known for being a regular diver. He was banned for 8 games and fined £40,000 in 2011 after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra. When the teams next met he then refused to shake hands with Evra.

Suarez also had a horrible habit of biting other players. He was first banned for seven games in 2010 for biting while at Ajax. In 2013 he then bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and scored the winning goal in injury time as officials didn't notice the biting incident. Even UK Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in and implored the league to take a hard stance, which they did by ultimately charging him with violent conduct.

Suarez couldn't help himself after biting an opponent for the third time in his career. This time at the 2014 World Cup as he took a bite of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder. He would get banned for four months which is deserving for one of the most hated Premier League player of all-time.

1. Joey Barton

Joey Barton is the most hated Premier League player of all time. Barton has an endless rap sheet of incidents both on and off the field. Barton has been charged three times by the FA for violent conduct. In 2007 he assaulted teammate Ousmane Dabo at training and put him in hospital with head injuries and a detached retina.

In 2010 he was charged with punching Morten Gamst Pedersen in the stomach. And in 2012 he elbowed Carlos Tevez and was sent off. He then lashed out and kicked Sergio Aguero and then attempted to head butt Vincent Kompany.

More recently, Barton was banned from football in 2017 for gambling on football matches which effectively ended his playing career. Barton then became a manager in English football and in a sign that he hasn't changed. Barton was charged with assault on a woman in 2021. Joey Barton's anger issues and often violent behaviour puts him top of the list of most hated player of all time.

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1 Comment

Interesting list. I didn’t realise that Some of those players did such things to their team mates. I did think Eric cantana may have been on the list when he kicked an opposition fan