Luis Suarez, Sergio Ramos and the Biggest Villains in Football After Maupay Mocked Walker

Luis Suarez, Sergio Ramos and the Biggest Villains in Football After Maupay Mocked Walker

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Neal Maupay logo
N. Maupay
Brentford logoFFrance logo
Kyle Walker logo
Manchester City logoDEngland logo
James Maddison logo
Tottenham Hotspur logoMEngland logo
Sergio Ramos logo
S. Ramos
Sevilla logoDSpain logo
Luis Suárez logo
Inter Miami CF logoFUruguay logo
  • Luis Suarez and Sergio Ramos are some of the footballers who consistently divide opinion worldwide
  • They are the kind of players who, unless they play for your club, their actions are bound to annoy you
  • Neal Maupay has slowly risen to be among the footballers in the Premier League who anger rival fans

Football, by virtue of being an emotive sport, will always have a few players who fans love to hate.

You might be a good footballer, always among the goals, but nothing irks fans more than a player with a penchant for winding up opponents and rival players.

Neal Maupay, Sergio Ramos, Luis Suarez, football's biggest villains, Diego Simeone, Joey Barton
Neal Maupay does the James Maddison celebration after scoring against Tottenham Hotspur on January 31. Photo by Alex Pantling.
Source: Getty Images

Football's most-hated players

In light of recent happenings at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Gtech Stadium, Sports Brief looks at the most memorable modern-day football villains and their 'offences'.

1. Neal Maupay

The Brentford forward has single-handedly brought back the villain topic after his antics against Tottenham and Manchester City.

He put the Bees ahead in both games, but it was in North London where his celebrations rubbed Spurs players the wrong way. He mimicked James Maddison's darts celebration with the Tottenham midfielder confronting him. He later dropped a couple of bants on Instagram despite losing the game.

Days later, he clashed with Kyle Walker, with Mail Sport reporting that a lip reader confirmed that the Manchester City captain told the referee that the French striker had said something about his children.

Besides these recent incidents, Maupay has a history of mocking Arsenal fans with crying gestures. One can also argue that he made Emi Martinez the goalkeeper he is today. Maupay collided with Bernd Leno, injuring the German and forcing Martinez to come on and be Arsenal's first-choice goalkeeper and subsequently win the World Cup.

2. Joey Barton

Joey Barton has remained a divisive figure even in his retirement days. Barton has been convicted twice for assault and was banned from football in 2019 for flouting betting regulations. He has also been suspended several times for attacking players on the pitch.

His views on his X account (formerly Twitter) have received significant condemnation, including from Britain's Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. The former midfielder viciously attacked female football pundits, comparing them to serial killers.

Barton has also launched a similar attack on Three Lionesses goalkeeper Mary Earps after she won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, calling the award 'nonsense':

"Unfortunately, this isn't just what one person thinks. This is what people across the country think - probably in the world," said Earps.

3. Diego Simeone

The Atletico Madrid coach has always cut the figure of a no-nonsense man on the touchline. His football styles haven't won him many fans, but they have largely worked during his long spell with the Rojiblancos.

As a player, he infamously made sure David Beckham was sent off in the 1998 World Cup clash between Argentina and England. Beckham responded to a tackle from Simeone by kicking the Argentina player. The midfielder admitted years after the hatchet had been buried.

As a manager, Simeone has constantly refused to shake the opposite manager's hands after a game, irrespective of the results. His celebrations have also been a bone of contention, particularly the lewd gesture he performed after Atletico had beaten Juventus in 2019.

Liverpool fans also took issue with him running almost the entire length of the Anfield pitch after the famous Champions League game in 2020.

4. Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos has built his successful career on being tenacious and abrasive at the back. Before becoming friends with Lionel Messi at Paris Saint-Germain, the Spanish defender made it his business to rile up Barcelona fans and the diminutive Argentine himself every time they met in the El Clasico.

Now at Sevilla, Ramos has never shied away from going in for a tackle or doing whatever is necessary to get his team over the line.

His most significant villainous moment was when he dragged down Mohamed Salah in the 2018 Champions League final, forcing the Egyptian to leave the game with a dislocated shoulder barely half an hour into the game. With their talisman out, the Pharaohs' World Cup chances in 2018 took a massive hit.

5. Luis Suarez

If Sergio Ramos is a persona non grata in Cairo, you can imagine how Ghanaians feel about Luis Suarez. From biting Branislav Ivanovic and Giorgio Chiellini to racially abusing Patrice Evra, El Pistolero has very few friends.

It was in 2010 when he severed any relationship he had with Ghana after he handled the ball on the line, denying the four-time African champions a place in the World Cup semi-finals. Asamoah Gyan would have scored the resultant penalty, but the Ghanaians hold a grudge against the former Barcelona striker to date. They did get their revenge, though, in 2022 when they frustrated Uruguay to get them knocked out of the World Cup.

When Suarez ensured opponent was booked

Sports Brief has previously reported on when Suarez ensured an opponent got a yellow card. Known for his theatrics on the pitch, he met his match in the Brazilian league during his Gremio days.

The striker tried to employ his usual 'dark arts' to persuade the referee, but Cruzeiro defender, Marlon Xavier took Suarez's boot and threw it off the pitch. Xavier was booked for that incident.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Diego Simeone