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Footballers who insulted their former clubs after leaving

Sat 01 May 2021 | 9:00

We take a look at the players who lashed out at their previous clubs after departing permanently. Read on to find out more about footballers who insulted their former clubs after leaving.

There are very few players who choose to stay a one-club man. Most of the soccer players have experienced moving from one club to another at least once in their professional careers.

Playing for a football club is almost like a marriage. The player and the club come together after believing that both of them would improve each other. If things go well after the signing, then the marriage lasts longer. And if not, they break down. And just like how it happens in real life, some breakups are terrible.

The player transfer can happen due to several reasons, such as the arrival of a new manager who does not include the player in his tactical ideas, or sometimes a player loses his place in the squad to another one and cannot regain it.

Moreover, many players leave their clubs because they feel they cannot achieve anything new with their clubs, so they crave greater successes in bigger clubs. However, sometimes players move on only because of their desire to face and overcome new challenges in a different country.

Some of these transfers are done on amiable terms, whereas some others are followed by some attacks from the players to their former clubs and vice versa.

Throughout the sport’s history, there have been numerous players who suffered in a club in such a way that they could not keep their silence after their departure from the club, and invaded their former team verbally on several occasions that resulted in them being included on the list of

footballers who offended their former clubs after leaving

.

The conflicts between players with their teammates, their coach, or the management staff of the club can bring about such issues which might not be resolved even after many years. The following is a list of the football players who insulted their clubs after they left.

Footballers who insulted their former clubs after leaving:

Some football players come out and openly blast their clubs for the way they were treated during their stay. Hence, without further ado, we review a list of the players who insulted their former clubs in some way or the other.

Neymar Junior – left Barcelona in 2017

  • Full name: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

  • Date of birth: 5 February 1992 (age 29)

  • Place of birth: Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil

  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

Neymar Junior da Silva Santos

is one of the

footballers who insulted their former clubs after leaving

. Neymar joined

Barcelona

from

Santos

in 2013 while being labeled “football’s best young talent.” He spent 4 wonderful seasons with Blaugrana, achieved a number of domestic and international trophies with them, including the European Treble in 2015- and scored 105 goals in 186 appearances while wearing Barcelona jersey.

However, during his spell at Camp Nou, his presence was mostly in the shadow of the Argentinean Legend, Lionel Messi. Neymar gradually realized that he was not probably going to win any individual awards as long as he is playing beside Lionel Messi, since Messi’s performance was always catching the eyes.

In 2017, the French Club

Paris Saint-Germain

which is supported by rich Arab owners paid Neymar’s 222-million-Euro release clause that to this day, is a record and the Brazilian became the world’s most expensive football player.

After his departure, Barcelona fans became outraged, but Neymar put the blame on the club’s board, "I don't have anything to say to the Barcelona board. For me... Well, actually I have something to say - That I am disappointed with them.”

"I spent four years there and was very happy. I began happy, spent four years happy and left happy. But not with them. For me, they shouldn't be in charge of Barca. Barca deserve much better, and everyone knows this.” Moreover, Neymar did not stop talking against his former club, and he tried to sue them because of some financial issues.

Alexis Sanchez- left Manchester United in 2020

  • Full name: Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez

  • Date of birth: 19 December 1988 (age 33)

  • Place of birth: Tocopilla, Chile

  • Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

The Chilean is another noticeable player on the list of football players who insulted their clubs after they left. After moving from Barcelona to

Arsenal

in 2014,

Alexis Sanchez

became the Gunners’ most vital player of the squad.

Within three and a half seasons at Emirates stadium, Sanchez scored 80 goals in 166 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions, as well as providing 45 assists.

He had proven himself as a prolific goal scorer in the Premier League and his performance had persuaded

Manchester United

authorities to sign him in January of 2018. Although he was expected to shine in Old Trafford even brighter than he did while playing for Arsenal, Sanchez did not manage to replicate his excellent form.

Sanchez, who had scored 24 goals for the Gunners in the previous Premier League season, only netted 3 in 32 league appearances for the Red Devils. The pressure was so high on him due to his weekly salary of £40000 that was the highest wage given to a player by the club, and he was not living up to the expectations.

After scoring only 5 goals in 45 matches for United, he was loaned out to Inter Milan in 2019. After a season, Inter decided to make the deal permanent and signed a three-year contract with him.

Alexis Sanchez talked to the press about his unhappiness at Old Trafford and admitted that he wanted to “return” to Arsenal after his first training session with the Red Devils.

Here is what Sanchez said in an interview, "I want to tell you about my period at United, about many things that have been said which made me look bad. Before going there, I had an agreement with Manchester City, but it didn't work out, and I got the chance to join Manchester United.

It was something nice for me. As a kid, I liked the club a lot. I ended up signing without having a lot of information about what was happening with the move. During the first few days that I was with my new teammates, sometimes there are certain things that you do not realize until you arrive. After the first training, I had realized many things.

When I got home, I asked my family and my representative, 'Can my contract be terminated and can I return to Arsenal?”

Alexis continued with complaining about the unity of the team and his lack of play time, "We were not united as a team. As players, you need the team to be united, to be a family, and we weren't.

And you could see it on the pitch, but because they had to blame someone, they would always blame me. Sometimes, I wouldn't even play or I would play for 20 or 30 minutes, but it would always be my fault. I couldn't understand how I had gone from being one of the best players in the Premier League five months ago to not even playing.”

Pepe- left Real Madrid in 2017

  • Full name: Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira

  • Date of birth: 26 February 1983 (age 38)

  • Place of birth: Maceió, Brazil

  • Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Position(s): Centre back

Pepe is among those footballers who offended their former clubs after leaving. The Portuguese center back joined Los Blancos in 2007.

At the time no one had foreseen that his presence at Santiago Bernabeu would last for 10 years, since

Real Madrid

is a club which is famous for its constant changes, and the sight of a foreign player staying at the Spanish club for a decade is a rare one for sure.

Moreover, the club has not shown a good face of themselves with regard to paying tribute to their legends and the players who are revered by the fans, such as their two eternal captains who did not leave the club on amiable terms, Iker Casillas and Raul Gonzales.

Back to Pepe, he helped to the conquest of numerous achievements within his bright spell at Madrid. With him in the squad, Real won 3

LaLiga

titles, 2 Copa del Rey trophies, 3 Spanish Super Cups, 3 UEFA Champions League titles, 2 UEFA Super Cups, and 2 FIFA Clubs World Cups.

Despite all of the glories Pepe and the club achieved together, their separation did not happen in a friendly way. The decorated center back demanded a 2-year contract, while the best Real Madrid was willing to offer was a 1-year extension, and that definitely annoyed Pepe, and did not leave him with lots of good things to say, “Madrid didn't offer me two years.”

They just offered me one year, so it's clear that I'm not going to continue with Real Madrid. There are ways of talking and negotiating but the club hasn't acted correctly. That's annoyed me. So I am not going to continue with the club.

An era has come to an end and a new one will begin. In fact, I've already started the move. Most of my things are in Portugal and I just have my house in Madrid.” Pepe also complained about the club’s not backing him up when he was struggling with tax problems.

“The club didn't defend me with the tax office issue. You know I have everything up to date but did you see the club defend me?”  Additionally, he grumbled about Madrid fans’ attitude as compared to Beśiktas- the club he joined after leaving Spain- fans.

"Besiktas fans are fantastic. At times when playing for Real Madrid, we had to motivate ourselves as the fans were not so passionate. Here at

Besiktas

, every player heads onto the pitch fully motivated to perform well with the aid of great support,” he continued.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic- left Barcelona in 2010

  • Full name: Zlatan Ibrahimović

  • Date of birth: 3 October 1981 (age 40)

  • Place of birth: Malmö, Sweden

  • Height: 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

The Swedish man is regarded as one of the most special players in football history, and is in charge of one of the most famous insults in football history.

After the majestic 2008/9 season for Barcelona, in which they ended up winning the European treble,

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

joined Blaugrana in a swap deal with

Inter Milan

in which Samuel Eto’o left Barcelona and moved to Italy.

He only stayed in Spain for one season, a season in which he scored 16 LaLiga goals as well as 4 goals in Champions League. Despite being at Camp Nou for only one season, he achieved 4 titles with Barcelona: LaLiga, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup, and FIFA Clubs World Cup.

Pep Guardiola, Barcelona’s head coach at the time, wanted to put Lionel Messi in the center forward position, meaning Zlatan Ibrahimovic had to play as a winger, which was not his preferred position and was unfamiliar for him.

Zlatan began to feel that Guardiola was not ‘strong’ enough to impose himself on the players and that Barcelona’s superstars acted like ‘school boys’. Zlatan talked about his time at Camp Nou in an interview, “I'd already got the impression that Barcelona was a little like being back at Ajax, it was like being back at school. None of the lads acted like superstars, which was strange.

Messi, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, the whole gang – they were like schoolboys. The best footballers in the world stood there with their heads bowed, and I didn't understand any of it. It was ridiculous.” It is worth mentioning that the hostility between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Pep Guardiola stands strong to this day.

Anybody who reads Zlatan’s Autobiography will soon realize the hatred he has for his former manager at Barcelona. In recent years, Zlatan has never missed a chance to attack Guardiola, like his talk with French TV Station Canal+ "We had the best team in the world but we failed to win the Champions League because of bad decisions from someone."

Zlatan revealed his confrontation with Pep in the dressing room following Barcelona’s exit in the 2010 Champions League after losing to Jose Mourinho’s Inter, "Guardiola was staring at me and I lost it. I thought, 'there is my enemy, scratching his bald head!' I yelled, 'You haven't got any b***s!' and worse than that I added, 'You can go to hell!' I completely lost it, and you might have expected Guardiola to say a few words in response, but he's a spineless coward.”

"At Barca, players were banned from driving their sports cars to training. I thought this was ridiculous - it was no one's business what car I drive - so in April, before a match with Almeria, I drove my Ferrari Enzo to work. It caused a scene. As a coach, he was fantastic. As a person, I've no comments about that, that's something else. He's not a man, there's nothing more to say,” which was definitely one of the

most famous insults in football history

.

Mario Balotelli- left Liverpool in 2016

  • Full name: Mario Balotelli Barwuah

  • Birth name: Mario Barwuah

  • Date of birth: 12 August 1990 (age 31)

  • Place of birth: Palermo, Italy

  • Height: 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

Known as one of the most talented strikers in his prime,

Mario Balotelli

never managed to fulfill his potential. Many expected him, who had astonishing pace, strength, and excellent eye for goal, to become one of the best strikers in the world.

Yet instead, we see him on the list of footballers who insulted their former clubs after leaving. He joined Liverpool in 2015, but could never shine in his spell at Anfield. He played under Brandon Rodger and Jurgen Klopp’s management at Liverpool, but could not fit in either of the coaches’ thoughts.

Becoming one of the footballers who insulted their former clubs after leaving, he has spoken out about his spell at Liverpool, “It was the worst mistake of my life. Apart from the fans, who were fantastic with me, I must be honest, and the players, who I had a good rapport with, I didn’t like the club.”

Later in an interview with the Italian media Gazette dello Sport Balotelli put the blame on Brandon Rodgers, the club’s coach at the time, "I must accept my faults but the formation chosen by Rodgers was not suited to my characteristics. In the beginning I missed several easy chances, then I had fewer chances to score, a bit of bad luck, injuries. A mess of things.”

Daniel Alves- left Barcelona in 2016

  • Full name: Daniel Alves da Silva

  • Date of birth: 6 May 1983 (age 38)

  • Place of birth: Juazeiro, Brazil

  • Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)

  • Position(s): Right-back, attacking midfielder

The most decorated player in the history of football with 41 major titles is also one of the

football players who insulted their clubs after they left

. Daniel Alves is regarded as one of the best right backs of all time, and is said to be one of the best signings of Barcelona in the club’s history.

Alves moved to Nou Camp in 2008 and spend 8 wonderful seasons with Blaugrana which was filled with domestic and international trophies. He had won 6 LaLiga titles, 5 Copa del Rey trophies, 5 Spanish Super Cups, 3 UEFA Champions Leagues, 3 FIFA Clubs World Cup, as well as 3 UEFA Super Cups with Barcelona before he ‘was forced’ to leave the club in 2016.

Alves does not think that he has got the respect that the ‘best right back in the history of the club’ deserved, “I was only offered a new deal when the FIFA transfer ban came in. That was when I played them at their own game and signed a deal with a termination clause. Those who run Barcelona today have no idea how to treat their players.”

After his stint at

Juventus

, Alves wanted to return to Camp Nou. He told RAC 1 in an interview, “I went to Juve to prove I was still at a good level. I wanted to return to Barca and they needed me, but they didn't have the b***s to admit that they were wrong with me. If they had treated me as I thought I deserved, today I would still continue playing for Barca. I love this club.”

The Brazilian defender also added, "The style of Barca is changing. The club has lost its identity a bit and now has to go through a tough process to recover it.”

However, his statements were about Barcelona’s last president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, who is not in charge anymore and Juan Laporta, who is extremely popular among the fans and was the president who bought Alves from

Sevilla

in 2008, was elected in 2021.

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