Naming football's biggest laughing stock for every year between 2004 and 2019

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

Football can be a harsh environment for top players.

You're only ever one mistake away from being chastised by thousands of strangers on social media and in some of the worst-case scenarios, it can even derail their career.

HITC decided to take a look at this phenomenon by identifying the biggest 'laughing stock' in football for every year between 2004 and 2019.

While we don't agree with every single decision, they've done a brilliant job at showing the players that had a calendar year so bad that they could never outrun the criticism.

So, from the inevitable John Terry and Steven Gerrard slips to some more obscure examples, check out the players who've been given the toughest time over the past decade and a half.

2004 - Nwankwo Kanu

How could an 'Invincible' possibly make the list in 2004? Barely earning the medal at Arsenal, scoring just one goal in 12 months and producing one of the worst misses in Premier League history is how.

West Bromwich Albion v Norwich City

2005 - Peter Crouch

Going 22 matches without a goal after his dream Liverpool move and missing a penalty that he took away from Steven Gerrard made Crouch quite the punchline in 2005.

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion

2006 - Marco Materazzi

Perhaps one of the more debatable picks here, but HITC's decision-making lies with the inescapable meme status of Materazzi being repeatedly head-butted by Zinedine Zidane.


2007 - David Nugent

Imagine being signed by Portsmouth for £6 million and then your manager tries to ship you to Derby County - literally the worst Premier League team in history - just one month later.

GBR: Portsmouth FC Unveil New Signings

2008 - John Terry

Do we even need to explain this one?

Chelsea's English defender and captain J

2009 - Felipe Melo

Again, a potential reach here but the Brazilian midfielder was given plenty of stick after 'signing' for Arsenal and then changing his mind at the last minute with a Juventus move.

Juventus FC v Bordeaux - UEFA Champions League

2010 - Robert Green

Green watched his status as England's number one dissolve in front of his eyes with an absolute howler against the USA and was forced to watch David James play in his place from there on in.

England v USA: Group C - 2010 FIFA World Cup

2011 - Fernando Torres

Oh dear, oh dear. It took three months for Torres to score his first Chelsea goal despite arriving for £50 million and he only scored three league goals all calendar year. Lest we forget that horrific miss at Old Trafford either.

Chelsea's Spanish forward Fernando Torre

2012 - Nicklas Bendtner

Aside from completely flopping in his bizarre move to Juventus, Bendtner was also arrested and then heavily fined for flashing Paddy Power boxers at Euro 2012.

Danish forward Nicklas Bendtner celebrat

2013 - Marouane Fellaini

Sure, the Belgian midfielder turned out to be half decent at Old Trafford, but he was nothing short of a laughing stock during his first and worst season with United.

Real Sociedad de Futbol v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League

2014 - Steven Gerrard

We have no inklings with this choice. No clue. Any ideas?

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League

2015 - Radamel Falcao

Falcao scored a whopping two goals for United in 2015, the first of which barely counting on New Year's Day, and the Colombian went on to stink out Stamford Bridge with just a single goal.


2016 - Joe Hart

This is where everything fell apart for Hart. After enduring a nightmarish Euro 2016, the Englishman was booted out of Manchester City by Pep Guardiola and was a whole load of average with Torino.


2017 - Jack Rodwell

Why? Because a 4-0 win at Crystal Palace brought attention to the fact he'd gone 1,370 days without winning a football match he started in.

Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League

2018 - Loris Karius

That night in Kiev will probably haunt the German for the rest of his career, proving badly at fault for goals from Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in a Champions League final defeat.

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

2019 - Alexis Sanchez

After scoring one whole goal for United in this calendar year, Sanchez teased a revival at Inter Milan but proceeded to be sent off after scoring his first goals in Italy.

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