5 memorable coach vs player feuds we won’t forget in football


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Football is a beautiful sport, isn’t it? Clearly one of the world’s most loved sports, even top Indian cricket stars like Virat Kholi have repeatedly expressed their blossoming affection for the game.

But it is not just the wealth of technical abilities displayed on the pitch that we love. We also love the drama, energy, and, yes, even the hostility.

Top bookmaker apps now present lucrative betting opportunities for disciplinary-related events. For example, after a dafabet apk download, you can stake on the team to get the most yellow cards or red cards. 

Yes, because aggression is abundant in football, and we enjoy it. Such aggression has manifested in the most memorable coach vs. player fights. 

In this article, we will discuss five coach-player brawls football will never forget.

Roberto Mancini V Mario Balotelli

Top on our list is the 2012 feud between Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli. Mario Balotelli was undoubtedly one of Man City’s most controversial strikers during the Roberto Mancini era.

After a number of misdemeanors from Balotelli, things got heated up between these two.

In this story plot, coach Roberto Mancini took the role of the frustrated coach who couldn’t put up with Balotelli’s antics anymore. 

On the other hand, striker Mario Balotelli took the role of a stubborn and exuberant teenager who always had one controversy up his sleeve.

Well Man City’s media managed to keep the steaming feud in-house until we saw pictures flooding the internet of a Mancini-Balotelli hot fight on the training ground. 

Records have it that coach Roberto Mancini and striker Mario Balotelli went on the have a conflicted relationship throughout the 2012-13 season. After Mario Balotelli accepted his punishment and tried to play good boy, coach Roberto Mancini gave him another chance in the team to repair his reputation.

Of course, Balotelli didn’t make the best of the offered olive branch and was soon sent packing out of Man City.

Gerard Houllier Vs Robbie Fowler 

We don’t know if anger issues are a thing for strikers to deal with regularly or if we just haven’t understood the bone of contention between the Gerard Houllier and Robbie Fowler brawl yet. 

Striker Robbie Fowler was suspended and heavily fined for performing the ‘line sniffing’ celebration after scoring against Everton in 1999. This cost his coach Gerard Houllier so much, with the latter struggling to let sleeping dogs lie. 

In 2001, while in Liverpool, Robbie Fowler held captaincy, but he was painfully denied game time. Repeatedly, he moaned about it, but his coach was never giving him an ear. 

We could feel the anger build up in Robbie Fowler, which he later expressed badly by deliberately kicking the ball at the assistant coach, Phil Thompson. 

The next year 2002, Robbie Fowler was sold off to Leads.

Davor Suker V John Toshack

Let us start by emphasizing that Davor Suker and coach John Toshack didn’t start with an outright physical confrontation.

The fight here was more of a power play. Yes, there was no arguing that Davor Suker was a prolific scorer for Real Madrid, and of course, that came with some glory attached. 

He also won awards like the 1998 Golden Boot and more.

Now the real fight? Striker Davor Suker openly spat at John Toshack’s transfer decisions. 

Unfortunately for him, he never knew how grave his action turned out to be. John Toshack had to take measures to show Davor Suker who actually was in charge.

In further days, Davor Suker was placed on suspension with salary. Worse, he was transferred to Arsenal at the end of the season. 

While things didn’t culminate in a fierce fist fight, we could always smell the hot tension between Davor Suker and his coach.

David Moyes V Wayne Rooney

The fight between David Moyes and Wayne Rooney never had blows thrown, or balls kicked at each other.

Instead, it had more of a psychological undertone, with mind games being thrown at each other. 

So, the striker, Wayne Rooney, and his coach David Moyes had this delicate conversation that was supposed to be buried between them in confidentiality.

Unfortunately, words got out, and Rooney felt betrayed. 

As a bruised young football player, Wayne Rooney went on to publish his book, My Story So Far, where he wrote about David Moyes in an antagonist light – stating that he was tyrannical and controlling. 

David Moyes saw the “allegations” through court and won. Later on, Wayne Rooney had to apologize to David Moyes for how he described him in his book.

In 2004, Wayne Rooney moved from Goodison Park, after a severe deterioration in their relationship. Fate would later orchestrate a reunion between David Moyes and Wayne Rooney at Man United.

Rooney was one of the players who breathed a sigh of relief when David Moyes was sacked after an abysmal season at Man United.

Alex Ferguson V David Beckham

This time, the fight between coach Alex Ferguson and midfielder David Beckham wasn’t just an exchange of words. Fists almost got exchanged too. 

Just after being defeated by Arsenal, coach Alex Ferguson grew furious and blamed David Beckham for not being settled and having his head in the game. 

Of course, Beckham was captain, but he isn’t able to control the feet of all the players on the field.

David Beckham got an epic dressing down in the dressing room, with legendary Alex Ferguson unleashing his feared wrath on Beckham. 

Indeed, voices were raised, and egos were unavoidably hurt. In anger, Alex Ferguson kicked a boot that flew straight into Beckham’s face leaving him with a cut right above his eye.

Of course, David Beckham had to be restrained by his teammates to avoid a bigger fight from exploding. Ultimately, he left for Real Madrid in the summer.


Sometimes, the relationship between coaches and players is not always fluid. Players and coaches still have to keep their beef aside and work as a team if they want to win their matches.

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