10 Players Who Refused to Play for Their Clubs After Naby Keita Declined to Travel With His Team

10 Players Who Refused to Play for Their Clubs After Naby Keita Declined to Travel With His Team

Fred Kennedy
April 18, 2024 at 7:59 PM
In this article:
Asante Kotoko FC logoF-
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Diogo Costa logo
D. Costa
FC Porto logoGPortugal logo
Aaron Ramsdale logo
Arsenal logoGEngland logo
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ENG Premier League
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GER Bundesliga
Marcos Rojo logo
M. Rojo
Boca Juniors logoDArgentina logo
W. Gallas
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  • A number of players have in the past made headlines for the wrong reason
  • Keita was recently a big talking point for refusing to play for Werder Bremen
  • The Guinean midfielder joined the Bundesliga club after his Liverpool exit

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The football game entails emotions and drama that usually go beyond the field.

Recently, Werder Bremen star Naby Keita recently became the latest player to decline to play for his team.

Naby Keita looks on during the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 match between Equatorial Guinea and Guinea. Photo by Ulrik Pedersen.
Naby Keita looks on during the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 match between Equatorial Guinea and Guinea. Photo by Ulrik Pedersen.
Source: Getty Images

According to the BBC, the 29-year-old refused to travel with the team for a Bundesliga game at Bayer Leverkusen.

The publication adds that the former Liverpool midfielder has since been suspended by the Bundesliga club until the end of the season.

However, he is not the first player to refuse to play for their clubs in the past.

Sports Brief takes a look at some of the players that despite their levels in the game, because of their human nature which includes having emotions, refused to play for their clubs.

10. Aaron Ramsdale

Sheffield United

Every single player wishes to climb the ladder in their football career, talk of trying new assignments and probably getting more playtime.

Ramsdale abstained from playing for Sheffield United because the club had turned down several offers from other clubs that were in need of his services.

He told Ben Foster's YouTube channel in December 2021, per the Mirror: "There were bids coming in and they (United) were turning them down, and I was like 'you said this…'

9. William Gallas


Before securing a move to Arsenal, William Gallas had refused to put on the Chelsea shirt and even promised to score an own goal if he was fielded in any match. He claimed that The Blues lacked class.

"He initially refused to play against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final to force an increased contract offer."

8. Sebastien Squillaci


The most interesting but of this is that Sebastian Squillaci was actually in the squad that was to play against Braga, but he turned down the opportunity shortly before the match began.

Julien Escude, Sevilla defender spoke to Football365 and said that he was shocked by his teammate's absence in the squad that played that day.

7. Marcos Rojo

Sporting CP

Happy and surprised when Manchester United showed interest in his services in 2014, Marcos Rojo refused to play for Sporting CP.

Speaking to the Mirror, Rojo said that he could not keep calm after the news reached him and he was not able to do anything else.

6. Javier Mascherano


In 2010, when Spain giants Barcelona had sought his services, Javier Mascherano abstained from playing for Liverpool in a match against rivals, Manchester City.

"There was an agreement between us that if Liverpool received a decent offer for me, I’d be permitted to leave. We’d spoken about extending my contract, but it seemed like the directors didn’t care about me," he spoke to FourFourTwo in 2021.

5. Paul Scholes

Manchester United

Paul Scholes is arguably one of the best midfielders to have played for Manchester United.

However, he refused to play for the Red Devils in a League Cup match against Arsenal and was later slapped with a two-week wage fine.

Later on, speaking to the Mirror, Scholes regretted his action, saying he was just young and stupid.

4. Raheem Sterling


The England national failed to join Liverpool teammates in training for their 2015 pre-season tour after rumours of him joining Manchester City started doing rounds.

He told the then manager, Brendan Rodgers that he was not feeling well. He later joined City.

3. Diego Costa


Diego Costa was truly a football beast when he played for Chelsea.

In 2017, after receiving a text from the then-head coach Antonio Conte that he was at liberty to join a team of his choice.

In 2017, the Spanish national booked a holiday in Brazil and never played for The Blues again. He later secured a move to Atletico Madrid the following January.

The foward defended his decision and even threw shade at Conte who had lost his job as Chelsea manager.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United

After being named on the bench in their clash against Tottenham Hotspur in 2022, Christiano Ronaldo was seen to be very unrestful and even left the pitch before the final whistle.

Manager Erik ten Hag said that the forward refused to come on as a sub and was forced to train solo away from his teammates for their match against Chelsea.

Later on, his unpredicted move from Manchester United shook the Old Trafford dressing room.

1. Carlos Tevez

Manchester City

In September 2011, Man City manager Roberto Mancini named Carlos Tevez on the bench in their Champions League match against giants Bayern Munich, but the star refused to come in as a substitute.

Later after his action, he was suspended for two weeks and asked to do solo training.

Tevez vehemently defended himself despite Mancini promising that he could have him back to the team if he apologized. The beef was killed in February when Tevez pleaded guilty and helped City win their first Premier League title a few months later.

Keita punished by Werder Bremen

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Keita getting punished by Werder Bremen following his conduct before the game against Bayer Leverkusen.

Keita has been suspended until the end of the season and will not take part in any senior team activity.

Fred Kennedy photo
Fred Kennedy
Fred Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (Daystar University), currently working as a Sports Editor. He has more than five years of experience in digital journalism.