8 Big Football Names who Have Received Death Threats After Di Maria's Incident

8 Big Football Names who Have Received Death Threats After Di Maria's Incident

Rene Otinga
updated at March 27, 2024 at 10:16 AM
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  • Angel di Maria became the latest footballer to receive death threats
  • The veteran received serious threats in his homeland of Argentina
  • Several other stars have also been subjected to similar threats

It is not uncommon to hear sports stars receiving death threats.

Footballers can have their safety compromised for different reasons, but the most common is their performances on the pitch.

Angel Di Maria, death threats, Argentina, players, fans, reasons
Angel Di Maria during an international friendly against Costa Rica at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on March 26, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Omar Vega.
Source: Getty Images

In recent years, a number of football stars have seen their social media pelted with vile words and at times, death threats, which presumably come from irate fans who were perhaps discontented by their performance in a match.

Before the age of the internet, Colombian player, Andres Escobar, lost his life just days after scoring an own goal at the 1994 World Cup against USA.

Escobar’s murder served as an example to the world that famous football stars should not take death threats lightly.

Sports Brief looks at other football stars who have received death threats.

8 football stars who received death threats

1. Angel di Maria

Di Maria became the latest victim of death threats in his native Argentina.

The former PSG and Manchester United winger received a threat at his home in the outskirts of Rosario.

The threat came just a week after Di Maria revealed his intentions to end his career at his boyhood club, Rosario Central.

2. Alex Baena

The Villarreal midfielder claimed in 2023 that he received death threats after a confrontation with a Real Madrid player, who allegedly assaulted him after a La Liga match.

At the time, it was reported that the threats came after Baena made a comment about Federico Valverde’s pregnant wife, something the Villarreal player has denied.

3. Christian Pulisic

In another recent case, former Chelsea star, Pulisic, who is currently playing for AC Milan, received death threats after his side’s 1-0 win over Lazio before the international break.

The league game, played on March 1, saw Lazio finish with eight men and Pulisic was involved in two of the Biancocelesti’s three red cards.

4. Joachim Andersen

In 2022, the Crystal Palace defender received vile threats to himself and his family after he was involved in a physical altercation with Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez.

Nunez was sent off for head-butting Andersen at the hour mark as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw.

5. William Tesillo

Similar to Andres Escobar’s 1994 case, Colombian player, William Tesillo, became public enemy number one after he missed a decisive penalty in the Copa America.

Tesillo's wife, Daniela Mejia, revealed the threats on her Instagram, saying the culprits kept alluding to Escobar’s incident, per SI.

Interestingly, a year earlier, Carlos Sanchez received threats after he was sent off three minutes into Colombia’s game against Japan. The Colombians lost 2-1.

6. Harry Maguire

The Manchester United defender has always had to fend off critics since his move to Old Trafford in 2019.

However, his critics crossed the line in 2022 when the England centre-back received a bomb threat to his home in an incident that had police involved, according to Marca.

Maguire received three emails claiming three explosives had been planted at his residence and he had 72 hours to leave Manchester United.

7. Willian

In 2022, former Chelsea winger, Willian, had to leave Brazilian outfit, Corinthians, after receiving death threats.

After leaving Arsenal, he joined the South Americans where he scored just one goal in 45 appearances. He was part of the team that got eliminated from two competitions in two weeks, as reported on talkSPORT.

8. Josh Cavallo

Cavallo’s case is a unique one as he received death threats because of his lifestyle.

He became the world’s first openly gay professional footballer after coming out in October 2021. That move, however, has seen him become an easy target for trolls.

"Sadly, countless and endless death threats aimed at my everyday life and sexuality due to my football absence," he said in 2022. "I will never doubt the person I have become and WILL continue to wear who I am proud on my sleeves."

Brazilian footballers who made headline for wrong reasons

Elsewhere, Sports Brief reported on Brazilians who made headlines for the wrong reasons.

Topping the list is Dani Alves, whose legacy is being tarnished by an abuse case he is facing.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and TUKO.co.ke.