Published on October 24th, 2016 | by Hassan Abdullah
Fans vs Players – five footballing feuds
Football is a passionate sport but there are some supporters who will go the extra mile to show how they really feel.
There are always times when fans are disappointed in their players due to a bad performance or poor run of form.
Or they can take issue with something a player has said. Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi is currently feeling the wrath of his club’s ultras over his autobiography – more on that particular spat later…
Some fans may simply go onto social media to vent their frustration. However, there are others who will go to extremes.
Here, we will look at five fiery feuds between players and their own fans.
5. Bale and Jese speed off as irate fans attack their cars – 2015
Real Madrid have many great memories in beating Barcelona in the El Clásico. Some notable wins include the 5-0 mauling at the Santiago Bernabéu in January 1995, with the Madrid line-up including such big-name players as Raúl, Michael Laudrup and Luis Enrique, who of course went on to even greater success at Barcelona.
Fast forward to March 2015, and Real Madrid came up against the old enemy at the Nou Camp. Real Madrid went on to lose 2-1, with goals from Luis Suarez and Jeremy Mathieu sealing the win for Barcelona.
Later on that night, the Real Madrid players returned home only to face the wrath of some unhappy fans.
These fans were so furious at the players because it was the year that Barcelona won the famous treble and this match ended Real Madrid’s hopes of winning the league that year.
Gareth Bale and Jese were the unlucky ones as they were caught in the thick of things. As they were driving off, there were a group of Real Madrid fans waiting to pounce and attack. The fans punched the players’ windows and kicked their cars. A few insults were hurled too.
Real suspended one club member who was involved as well as identifying two other suspects. Bale remains an integral part of Madrid’s team, and this summer Jese moved to Paris St Germain.
4. Fabrício sent off for gesturing at his own fans – 2015
There are many insults that can offend people in all sorts of ways. Some would counter with an insult of their own or even offer someone out for a fight.
But when it’s a crowd of thousands giving you stick, the latter is not really a feasible option, so you express your feelings in the way you can.
During a match in Brazil’s state championship against Yipranga in 2015, Internacional player Fabrício decided to confront a jeering crowd with some offensive gestures. This led to the referee sending off the left-back.
Fabrício was furious, and threw his shirt on the ground. Several of his team-mates tried to calm him down but he would take it even further by shouting towards his own fans “I’m leaving, I’m leaving!” as he walked off. Well at least he got to say how he was feeling at the time…
After the game, his team-mates were not allowed to give post-match interviews and the defender was suspended by the club. Despite all of this Internacional went on to win 1-0.
Fabrício is still at Internacional despite having two loan spells at fellow Brazilian clubs Cruzeiro and now at Palmeiras.
3. São Paulo fan invasion
Pitch invasions are a fairly common occurrence. A notable example would be YouTube sensation Vitaly Zdorovetskiy – also as known as Vitalyzdtv – invading the 2014 World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina.
These invaders only have one purpose, which is to have their 30 seconds of fame by running around on the pitch and doing their best to avoid capture by stewards.
In Brazil, however, São Paulo fans had other ideas – they were not just showing off, they were angry and wanted to make a point to their club.
They decided to invade a training session and attack their own players. These fans from the Barra Brava protest group staged a demo aimed at the club owners they said were corrupt and the team, who they claimed stained the club’s history.
Fireworks were set off, abuse shouted, and a near riot ensued. Michel Bastos, who plays for São Paulo, was injured during the attack as he and his team-mates were forced to flee.
2. The Carabobo flying kick-2015
Players and managers are expected give post-match interviews; these can happen on the pitch or near the tunnel.
Carabobo squared off against Aragua in the Venezuelan League in a 2015 match which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Aquiles Ocanto who plays for Carabobo, was being interviewed pitchside as a rival supporter decided to sneak up behind him and give him a vicious flying kick.
Imagine that happening to a Premier League star. Twitter would go into meltdown…
1. Icardi vs. Inter Milan Ultras
Finally, we reach our most high-profile and recent example of when things go very wrong between players and fans.
This is the on-going battle between Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi and the club’s most hardcore ultras.
The bitter row was kicked off by a chapter in Icardi’s autobiography where he told a story about himself and team-mate Fredy Guarín facing off against the ultras when Inter lost 3-1 away to Sassuolo in February 2015.
After that game, Icardi threw his shirt to a kid into the away crowd but it was thrown back by one of the ultras. The incident was forgotten at the time until it featured in the autobiography.
“In the changing room, I was applauded like an idol,” he wrote.
The club’s directors warned him he might have upset some of the fans, but he was not backing down, going on to write: “I was clear, I’m ready to face them one by one.
“Maybe they don’t know that I grew up in one of the South American neighbourhoods with the highest rates of crime and people killed in the street.
“How many of them are there? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred? OK, record my message and let them hear it. I will bring 100 criminals from Argentina who will kill them on the spot.”
Unsurprisingly, the ultras did not take this lying down. Earlier this season, in a match against Cagliari, Icardi missed a penalty – cue huge banners being unfurled by sections of the San Siro crowd.
The most blunt of the lot said : “You are not a man… You are not a captain… You are just a vile piece of s***”.
If Icardi updates his autobiography at any point, it will be interesting to see if he changes the offending chapter – or adds fuel to the fire by winding them up the ultras even more…