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5 Of The Best Football Tantrums

by Aidan Elder | September 28, 2011

Carlos Tevez refused to warm-up last night and what followed was a succession of ‘you’ll never work in this town again’ style comments from his manager, pundits and journalists alike. Ok, in this case, it wasn’t actually a tantrum per se, more a disrespectful show of total disdain, but there have been tantrums before most notably that time in 2007/08/09/10/11 when he went home to Argentina and came back to his club a week after he was supposed to. In his honour, here’s 5 fantastic football tantrums and sprinkling of others from the world of sport.

Paolo Di Canio
Still the daddy of on-pitch hissy fits. Di Canio reinforces a few national stereotypes by shoving Paul Alcock to the ground. Alcock played his part in the drama with his drunken Bambi routine.

See also Di Canio’s recent confrontation with Leon Clarke as Swindon manager –

With his mis-guided self-belief, undoubted talent and underwhelming goals tally, you’d think Mido would have fitted in perfectly at Spurs, but it never really worked out and this footage may go some way to explaining why. With Egypt drawing against Senegal in the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations and time running out, manager Hassan Shehata decided it was time to give Mido the hook. Mido disagreed prompting this hissy-fit and showdown with the boss. There was no being the bigger man from Shehata either as the goal scored directly after the substitution is greeted with some ‘who the man!’ style gestures towards the jubaliant crowd.

Kuwait 1982
This is impressive more for the fact it goes right to the top rather than explosive histrionics. The Kuwaiti players stopped playing after hearing a whistle, but the sneaky French (this is clearly the origins of a recurring theme) play on and score a goal. Initially the referee allows the goal to stand and the players walk off in protest. After several minutes of hissy-fits, it takes the intervention of Sheikh Fahad Al Ahmed to resolve the situation. And the referee did reverse his decision, which is more than enough incentive for you to needlessly pester referees for every call that goes against you, Rio Ferdinand.

Antonio Cassano
With so many incidents of Cassano throwing tantrums, it’s hard to pin down one that encapsulates his mix of petulance and self-importance. Here’s some footage of him getting rather upset whilst playing for Sampdoria – a team he regularly professed his love for before ditching them when a bigger team came calling. In fairness they had just got relegated but equally he was making noises about leaving long before that. Fabio Capello even invented the phrase ‘Cassanata’ as a euphemism of his diva-esque behaviour. We’re not responsible for the stupid ‘baby crying’ soundtrack by the way/

William Gallas
Gallas always seemed a bit mental. Not strait-jacket mental, more PMT mental where at any given time there could be a whole heap of suppressed fury coming your way. Here he is going mad at Birmingham on one of the many occasions Arsenal’s title challenge came off the rails in the closing months of the season. He wasn’t happy with the referee or something. Yes William, it’s the referee’s fault. It’s been the referee’s fault very season since 2004.

Honourable mentions:
Mario Ballotteli
Crap backheel. Yoink, that’s it for you son. Hissy fit.
That’s the simplistic timeline of events for arguably the best video of Ballotelli that doesn’t involve a troublesome bib.

Thierry Henry
‘Oh is that a TV camera? What better time to show how much I care for this club than attempting to attack a referee’ we’re guessing was the thought process prior to Thierry Henry going mental at Graham Poll. I can’t even remember what he was so upset about, but as the world has continued to spin ever since, I’m guessing it wasn’t that important.

From other sports:
Nelson Piquet
One of earliest documented examples of road rage. The Brazilian – somewhat justifiably – gets upset after Eliseo Salazar clips his rear wheel and takes him out of the race. The best bit is when Piquet realises there’s not much to be gained from punching someone in the helmet and opts instead for a sneaky kick at the knees.

Baseball cheat
I’m not arsed getting the background to this, but the guy tries to cheat and then has a whopper of a tantrum when he’s caught.

John McEnroe
McEnroe hissy-fits are as old as the mountains themselves, but what’s impressive about this one is the fact he’s still maintains the fury of his heyday even in middle age at an event no-one gives a flying fudge about.

Ron Artest
NBA nutter Ron Artest (aka Metta World Peace – that’s actually what he changed his name to by deed poll, not just an in-joke you don’t get) loses it after someone does something to him that’s against the rules in basketball. I’m not sure what that thing is though.

George Brett
Silly rule in a silly sport by all accounts, but after his home run is disallowed, George Brett loses it at the umpire.
The whole clip is worth watching, but if you’re the impatient type, skip ahead to 1.30 for the fury.

Ron Van Gundy
More basketaball tantrums. This time Ron Van Gundy tries the time-honoured trick of grabbing the leg favoured by so many five year old children the world over.

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